We put a lot of pressure on our feet. We depend on them to carry us around all day – and many of us may be unwittingly doing them harm in uncomfortable and unsupportive shoes. The daily stresses and strains of life can sometimes lead to foot problems. Common issues and pain can cause discomfort, or in the worst cases, ongoing issues that require treatment.
Wearing the right shoes for problem feet can help alleviate and even prevent issues further down the line.
From shoes with arch support to the best for issues like bunions, find out more in our comprehensive guide.
What causes foot problems?
According to the NHS, some foot problems can be caused by ill-fitting shoes – others are a consequence of too much exercise.
Here are a few common foot problems and their possible causes.
- Heel pain – usually caused by inflammation of the band of tissue in your foot when foot muscles are put under heavy strain.
- Heel spur – an abnormal growth of the bone of your heel caused by the long-term strain of muscles and ligaments under excessive weight or arthritis.
- Stone bruise – feels like you’re walking on a pebble and is usually down to a deep impact injury or heavy bruising in the ball of your foot.
- Pain on ball of foot – sometimes a result of the way your foot is held in your shoe, or by your walking motion.
- Bunion – a bony bulge that usually occurs on the big toe, caused by the constant rubbing of ill-fitting shoes.
- Corns and calluses – hardened skin or growths that occur anywhere over the foot, but particularly where the shoe has rubbed or worn away as you walk.
How can I avoid foot problems?
One of the best ways to avoid foot problems is to wear comfortable proper fitting shoes and look after your feet. Relax them by putting on comfy socks after a long day and wearing the right shoes for the right occasion.
For example, wear well-fitting hiking shoes when you go on a long walk and try to take your shoes off at the end of a day, giving your feet time to rest.
Many general foot problems tend to correct themselves if you don’t put too much strain on them. If the pain persists for a longer time, definitely visit your doctor.
Best shoes with arch support
Look for flexible shoes with firm soles, the Relife collection has some great options.
Wearing shoes with arch support can reduce the symptoms of several issues that can lead to painful feet. If you have a flat-footed walk, or put unnecessary strain on your arch just through your everyday movement, consider wearing trainers or shoes with a supported arch.
Shoes with arch support are firm and strong enough in the sole to support your foot, and flexible enough to allow you to move naturally and comfortably. Supported arch insoles could also be an option.
Best shoes for feet with bunions
Look for spacious, flexible shoes such as the wide fitting shoes from the stylish Comfort Plus range.
As bunions typically form along the edge of the foot, they can be quite painful. The pain tends to be in the big toe and its joint, because the bunion causes the big toe to push inwards.
In some cases, bunions aren’t that painful or bothersome, while in others they can be extremely painful. When someone has a bunion, heeled, or tight-fitting shoes are generally the worst to wear.
The best shoes for feet with bunions are ones with roomy, flexible soles. To treat bunions, try to rest the foot a little more than usual.
Best shoes for plantar fasciitis
Look for flexible shoes with strong heel support. A block heeled shoe will give your foot the right levels of support and reduce pain.
Plantar fasciitis is another name for pain in your heel. It tends to be caused by inflammation or irritation – usually the result of lots of walking or running in worn-down shoes.
The best shoes for plantar fasciitis are ones with good heel support. They’ll function as a shock absorber and keep pressure off the painful tissue around the affected area.
Arch support is helpful too, as is making sure your shoes have a firm ankle and good cushioning. These types of shoes should both prevent and reduce plantar fasciitis.
Comfy shoes for sore feet
Look for flexible shoes with firm soles, trainers are a comfortable and breathable option.
You’ll usually end up with sore feet if you walk a lot in unsupportive shoes. For example, going on a hike in a pair of trainers instead of proper walking boots won’t do your feet any favours.
The most comfy shoes for sore feet are ones with a cushioned sole, which will provide additional support for tired heels. It’s important that you don’t have too soft a sole however, as a little rigidity will serve you well for keeping your foot arch supported.
However, if your feet are sore, rest should do you good.
Best shoes for swollen feet
Look for spacious shoes with good ventilation. The Comfy Steps selection are both breathable and supportive.
A build-up of fluid and tissue in the feet can cause them to swell. This is usually temporary and can sometimes be a result of a high salt and carbohydrate diet.
When you have swollen feet and ankles, you don’t want to irritate them anymore – you want them to be able to relax in comfortable shoes.
The shoes you’ll want to wear are roomy, with good ventilation to let your feet breathe. It’s important your feet don’t get too warm as heat can negatively impact swollen feet.
This condition is very common for pregnant women and in hot weather, especially if the person is walking and moving around a lot.
Best shoes for feet with corns and calluses
Look for well fitting shoes with soft insoles, the Cushion Walk collection has a few great options.
Corns and calluses are usually caused by shoes that don’t fit properly and rub, or shoes which put a large amount of pressure on a certain part of your foot.
To prevent these problems, make sure your shoes fit correctly – both in terms of length and width. When considering good shoes for feet with corns and calluses, look for a comfortable, well-fitting shoe. However, make sure there’s just a little space around the area where the corns or calluses are – a lack of friction and rubbing will allow the wounds to heal.
Feet are one of the main parts of the body that we tend to take for granted. However, if they’re not treated well, the pain and discomfort we feel can affect our everyday lives. This proves we should look after our feet more than we already do, choose our shoes carefully and sometimes, quite literally, take time to put our feet up.