High heel shoes

Women put foot fashion before health

More than a third of British women (37 per cent) have bought shoes knowing they don’t fit and are risking their foot health as a result.

According to a new study by the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP), a passion for fashion is leaving UK women with a range of uncomfortable and sometimes disabling conditions. A staggering 80 per cent of women suffer from foot problems, ranging from bunions (15 per cent) and corns (24 per cent) through to cracked heels (39 per cent) and in-growing toe nails (19 per cent).

However, women are not the only ones squeezing their feet into shoes that don’t fit them, with nearly a fifth of men (17 per cent) also having bought shoes in the wrong size. Yet, despite the scale of the nation’s foot problems, 40 per cent of those that have ever had a foot problem have never sought medical advice.

Many women wear the wrong sized shoes

Lorraine Jones, podiatrist from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists said: “Many of us find it hard to resist a bargain and the latest fashion must-have, but it’s important to remember that by buying ill-fitting shoes, you’re not only going to end up in discomfort, but you are also putting your health at risk.

What is particularly worrying is that this is just the number of people who are aware that they are buying ill-fitting shoes; many people are wearing the wrong sized shoes on a daily basis without even realising it. Most people in the UK suffer from a foot problem at some point in their lives, and while many are fairly minor, some can be extremely painful and disabling.

“While not all foot problems can be prevented, a large majority of problems do result from incorrect or poor footwear. It is important to wear shoes in the correct size that are appropriate for the activity you need them for.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t wear fashionable shoes or high heels, but it does mean that we should give our feet a break and see an expert if there is something wrong. Most foot complains are treatable but if problems are not detected early or treated properly, some conditions can become very serious with patients left in pain and with difficulties walking.”

Top five foot ailments in the UK

  • Cracked heels (27%)
  • Veruccas (26%)
  • Fungal infections (26%)
  • In-growing toenails (19%)
  • Corns (16%)

Visit www.feetforlife.org for more information.

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