For decades, Nike has been putting out new versions of their shoes every year, but what they are just now realizing this year is that the majority of their customers are wearing the wrong shoe size. According to their own research most people don’t know their true shoe size – 60% to be exact.
But Nike makes sneakers that are typically more comfortable than the dress shoes. What about dress shoes? We’ve discovered that dress shoes including ballet flats can cause the same sizing problems, especially for women.
The Trouble with Sizing Women’s Shoes
Women’s shoe sizing gets all the more complicated when you factor in the types of shoes that we wear: high heels, strappy shoes, flats, and all kinds of unique and sometimes outrageous designs that can torture women’s feet. Beyond that, women’s shoe sizes vary not just from country to country, but from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Even when you are wearing the same shoe brand, as Nike proves, there are still variations in design that will change the way a particular shoe fits your feet. Also, the quality of the shoe matters. Cheap shoes made with cheap materials have not gone through the type of rigorous quality controls that high-end shoes go through. Just being off by 4mm creates a whole different size.
Our Feet Are Not One-Size-Fits-All
Any woman who has ever tried to squeeze into high-end Gucci heels will tell you that they don’t usually come in different widths. One of the main reasons why lots of women often can’t find the right size shoes is because some manufacturers treat women’s feet as if they are one-size-fits-all – they are not!
If a manufacturer only makes shoes in one width, customers with narrow or wide feet have to go down or up a half size and sometimes a whole size to make the shoe fit. Some manufacturers don’t even do half sizes, especially for ballet flats.
As a result, women either walk around in shoes that squeeze their toes and are too uncomfortable to wear for long or the shoe flops around and their feet slip out because there is too much space inside the shoe. It is important for women to know that wearing the wrong size shoes can be detrimental to your health.
You may end up needing surgery to correct common problems caused by wearing the wrong shoe size! Some of the most common foot problems caused by bad shoe sizing are:
Bunions can ruin the shape of your foot. But more importantly, they can cause big problems over time. Some people get bunions from birth but many get them by wearing tight fitting shoes or the wring size shoes can make the existing bunion problem worse.. The bone in your big toe gets swollen as does the tissue around it until you have a knuckle sticking out of the side of your foot!
The types of shoes you can wear once you form a bunion dwindle dramatically. You should wear a wide toe shoes on a low heel like those from our shop – see our recommendations here!
The good news about corns is that you can get rid of them. In short, it’s a callus that forms on your foot from wearing tight shoes where the material rubs or puts pressure on your foot. There are corn pads you can buy that make them go away but they’ll just come back if you keep wearing the wrong size shoes.
Less commonly heard of but prevalent among women who wear shoes with narrow toes is crossover toe. A lot of fancy, high-end, glamorous heels are made this way. Over time, if you are cramming your toes into these skinny tips, you will create a deformity where your big toe “crosses over” your middle toe. It’s terribly uncomfortable and unattractive to boot.
For people with hammer toes, you’ll end up with two problems. When you wear shoes that don’t fit right, over time, your middle toes may start to hunch up and you can’t flatten them out. Now you need shoes that have a lot more space around the toes. And because hammer toes poke up above your other toes, your hammer toe will rub up against the top of your shoe creating corns on your hammer toes – ugly and painful!
Getting the right size shoes
If you go to a shoe store to have your feet measured to make sure that you are getting the right size shoe, you are going to be let down. The century-old way of measuring foot size for shoes is beyond antiquated and will still leave you with the an ill-fitting shoe.
As we’ve discussed here, getting the right size is important for your overall health and wellbeing – not to mention comfort! We recently wrote about this very thing too. Check out this piece to find out how to measure the length and width of your feet accurately so that you get your shoe size exactly right.
Don’t know where to start? Take 30 seconds using our FIT-ANY technology to find your fit.