My Shoes Are Getting Tight, Are My Feet Getting Bigger?

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Does it feel like your shoes are getting tight? You may be asking yourself if your feet are getting bigger and the short answer is yes.  For starters, your feet get two sizes longer every time you stand up, but beyond that feet do get bigger over time.  And as the American population grows taller and heavier our feet are also getting bigger—the average American shoe size (8.5 for women, 10.5 for men) has increased a full size in the last thirty years.  Time and weight put pressure on your feet.  Tendons and ligaments lose their elasticity.  The fat cushion at the bottom of your feet thins.  The arch begins to flatten and your foot size can creep up without you noticing it.

If your feet are still living in the past—or at least in a past shoe size—you’re not alone: a recent study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that fully three-quarters of their senior hospital patients were wearing shoes that were too small, putting them at risk for everything from a turned ankle to painful corns and calluses.

The next time you go shopping for shoes make sure you get an up-to-date foot measurement (shop later in the day after you’ve been on your feet for a while for greatest accuracy).  It’s common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other, so make sure you measure both feet and buy shoes to fit the larger foot.  Try on the shoes and walk around the store a little before you make up your mind—the size printed inside the shoe is not always accurate—and make sure there is a half-inch of extra space for your big toe when you are standing.

You and your feet have places to go and things to do; knowing your true foot size helps you to get there in comfort!

If you are experiencing foot pain even after adjusting your shoe size, you should get an evaluation by a podiatrist. Triad Foot & Ankle Center is a leading foot and ankle care provider both regionally and nationally and is one of the largest podiatric practice in North Carolina. Our team of highly trained and skilled medical and surgical foot specialists includes seven podiatric doctors with offices in Greensboro, Burlington, and Asheboro. Call 336-375-6990 or click here to request an appointment.

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