When most people associate fashionable footwear with pain, they often picture or see women in very high heels. But men can also experience discomfort in their toes, heels, calves, and ankles when they wear fashionable shoes and boots. If you're a male who doesn't suffer from diabetes, arthritis, or another health ailment that affects your lower extremities, speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your boots and shoes. Your fashionable dress footwear might be the reason for your pain.
How Can Your Stylish Dress Footwear Affect Your Feet?
If you tend to wear dress shoes with narrow boxes, thin soles, or hard heels, you might be inadvertently causing your foot problems. One of the biggest problems with foot pain is that it can develop anywhere in your feet, including your toes and heels. Wearing tight-fitting shoes such as Wingtips, Derbies and Oxfords may only aggravate the problems further.
Popular shoes like the footwear mentioned above usually feature narrow, flat boxes and thin, flat, or almost-flat soles. Although these features make the dress shoes appear unique and fashionable, they can also trigger nerve pain in your feet, especially in the soles and around the toes. Your feet contain a host of nerves that link or connect to the much larger nerves in your legs and back, including the sciatic nerves leading to your lower back.
The sciatic nerve branches off like a tree. The limbs of the tree travel throughout your lower body and end in your feet and toes. Pinching the nerve branches with ill-fitting shoes can send pain throughout your lower body and back. If you experience back pain at the end of your work day, it may be caused by a pinched sciatic nerve.
Flat footwear can trigger pain in the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that supports each arch in your foot. Usually, flip-flops cause problems with the plantar fascia, but any type of flat footwear can be dangerous for you. The tissue can tear, rip, or stretch out too far over time.
Before you put on another pair of your designer shoes, see a podiatrist for care.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Toes, Feet and Ankles?
A podiatrist is a foot doctor who specializes in lower extremity pain, diseases, and other ailments. A specialist will generally examine your feet, ankles and toes to see if the bones are affected by your fashionable footwear. Sometimes, tight or ill-fitting shoes can cause inflammation in the ligaments, joints, and tendons surrounding or protecting the bones of your feet. The pain and deformity can develop anywhere in the bones, including those on the top of your feet and in the sides of the toes. If a doctor does find problems, they may suggest that you rest your feet to alleviate the inflammation.
Surgical treatment may be an option for severe problems, such as large bunions and hammer toes. Bunions can grow in the largest and smallest toes of the foot. Hammertoes usually cause the toes to shorten or "crimp" up like an accordion. Corns can develop on the surfaces of the toes if the skin rubs against the boxes of your shoes. In less severe cases, placing protective cushions in the boxes, soles, and heels of your footwear eases the inflammation.
After treatment, you can protect your feet and other areas by wearing shoes, boots, and other footwear with wide boxes and some type of low heel. The soles of your footwear should support your arches and cushion them against shock. If you insist on wearing fashionable shoes, have them custom-fitted to the shape and size of your feet and ankles.
For more information about your foot problems, consult with a podiatrist today.