Shoes: Right Fit Matters

Words: Mukesh SHARMA

Question: I’ve had foot and toe issues because of ill-fitting shoes. I’ve witnessed this spectacle of pain, among other things, with my friends too. Could you please let us know the types of problems that are common, primarily because of incorrect shoes, or footwear, and how to fix them?

JS, New Delhi

Answer: Most common foot problems are due to ill-fitting footwear. The best thing to do is to find the right shoe, or footwear.

Shoes have changed our life with less risk of getting hurt.

One can reduce foot pain and common foot problems by simply changing their footwear.

Corns & Calluses

Tight shoes that rub on your toes, or when your toes rub together, can contribute to the development of corns.

Corns are hardened skin; they usually grow on the top, or sides, of your toes. The difference between corn and calluses is: corns have a hard centre, while calluses don’t.

Use roomier shoes, if you notice your toes rubbing as you walk.

Heel Pain [Plantar Fasciitis]

Your heel and the front of your foot are connected to the planter facia ligament — it absorbs ‘shock’ when you walk. If this ligament gets strained, it can cause heel, or foot, pain.

Footwear with lack of arch support and too soft a sole can place unwanted strain on this ligament and also cause pain.

If you spend a lot of time on your feet, as in a store, or elsewhere, it would be best to wear supportive shoes.


When you wear tight-fitting, or high heel, shoes, it can cause pressure on the great [‘big’] toe and press it, including other toes. This could infringe upon the alignment and cause a bony growth — or, bunion.

The best way to prevent getting bunions is wearing shoes that have plenty of room around the toe area.


If a toe forms an arch, with the middle joint at the peak, you may have what’s called hammertoe. This condition is usually caused because the tendons, muscles, or ligaments in the toe may get imbalanced due to unwanted pressure on the toe.

Tight shoes are often the cause for this pressure. Wear shoes that are roomier in the toe area.

Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails develop when the corner of your toenail grows into your skin. This is often caused by bad grooming habits, tight socks, tight shoes, or high heels, which may encourage a toenail to grow into the surrounding skin.

Toenails should be trimmed straight across, and not rounded.

People having diabetes are at greater risk of foot and toe complications.

The bottom line. Wearing properly fitting shoes can help you avoid a number of foot-related problems, or conditions.

MUKESH SHARMA, a specialist leather technologist, pioneer and innovator, has been working in the footwear/fashion industry for over four decades. He’s a travel enthusiast, who’s just as spiritually inclined. His mantra for life: ‘Living simply with minimal baggage.’ He lives in New Delhi, India.

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