5 Warning Signs Your Shoes Are Ruining Your Feet

Not sure if it's time to replace your shoes? Most people do not realize that wearing the wrong shoes can negatively affect your entire body. Poorly constructed or old shoes may not only affect your foot health, but may also affect your posture and increase your risk of injury. Even though foot pain is one of the more obvious signs that a new pair is needed, there are also numerous other signs to keep an eye out for.

  1. Shoes are falling apart:
    If you notice that your shoes are wearing down unevenly, or if they seem to be falling apart quicker than usual, it’s a good indication that they’re not well-made and are causing you harm. Your shoe will gradually begin to show signs of wear and tear since your foot makes constant contact with the sole every time you take a step. Your shoe will probably fall apart rapidly due to regular wear if it is poorly constructed with cheap materials and inadequate foot support. So if your shoe is disintegrating, it's time to get a new pair made of high quality materials.

  2. Experiencing pain in your feet, knees, and lower back:
    When you have discomfort in your lower back, knees, and feet it may indicate that your shoes are not providing you with the support you require. Not only can your shoes affect the health of your feet, but also your posture and range of motion. Incorrectly fitting shoes can cause both foot pain and foot diseases. On average, when individuals wear shoes that do not fit their feet's width or length, it leads to discomfort and conditions like corns, calluses, and lesser toe deformity.

  3. Constantly adjusting your shoes:
    While it might not seem like a major concern, wearing shoes that are slightly smaller than usual over time might become uncomfortable. If your shoes need to be adjusted frequently throughout the day, they are probably uncomfortable for you and don't fit well. When it comes to foot pain and discomfort, shoe width can sometimes play a significant role in these issues.

  4. Getting blisters:
    Blisters can be a significant indication that your shoes aren't doing you any favors and aren't only the result of breaking in a new pair of shoes. Blisters develop when the skin on your foot rubs against the sole of your shoe, causing your skin cells to detach and fluid to build up in its place due to the consistent friction. While some of this will occur when breaking in a pair of stiff shoes, if your shoes are still giving you blisters after doing so, it's a clue that this pair isn't the best one for you.

  5. Feet are red:
    A bad pair of shoes is probably to blame if you have redness on your toes, hammertoes, corns, or irritations, particularly in the forefoot. Foot redness may indicate a number of various medical conditions, including inflammation and infection. However, redness may also be a sign of a poor pair of shoes. Athlete's foot, a fungal illness that can happen if sweaty feet are confined to a tight pair of shoes, could result from too tight of footwear. Due to reduced blood flow to the feet caused by tight shoes, redness of the feet can also occur, which can lead to cramping and pain. If you wear a pair of shoes a lot and they are your go-to’s that you wear daily with every outfit, they should be replaced yearly or possibly sooner depending on the quality. Additionally, orthotics need to be changed at least once a year. Depending on the situation, many patients require the use of shoe inserts to provide foot support. Make sure to frequently inspect and replace any inserts you use for support, which should be changed every three to six months, on average.

Written by
Dr. Jeffrey S. Hurless
DPM, FACFAS Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon/Podiatrist
Medical Director,