How Can Shoes Affect Your Overall Health

While it may seem as if the health of your feet doesn’t have any bearing on other parts of your body, your organs are more tightly connected than you think. Wearing improper footwear, especially one that’s not appropriate for the activity you’ll be doing, can have repercussions on your soles as well as upper body parts.

Finding the best shoes shouldn’t be merely about your personal taste. You should also ensure that the pair you buy will support your body weight comfortably, protect your feet from external factors like rocks and pins, as well as cushion your steps without compromising your balance.

Here are a few injuries that inappropriate footwear can cause to prove how shoes can affect your overall health:


  1. Feet Damage

Prolonging the agony of wearing the wrong pair of shoes can result in feet damage like corns, nail problems, and collapsed arches. Not only will your walking pattern and balance suffer, but you’ll also subject yourself to intense physical pain.

These are some types of feet damage that you can expect when you continue wearing incorrectly sized shoes:

  • Corns — These are hard, dead skin that typically develops on the tips and sides of your toes. Corns are caused by prolonged friction and pressure on a particular area of your feet. Leaving them unattended can make them attach firmly to deeper soft tissues, which worsens the problem.


  • Nail Problems — Ingrown toenails and fungal infections are common for wearers of ill-fitting shoes. They’re not only unsightly, but they’re also painful and lead to even more foot issues.


  • Collapsed Arches — Collapsed arches are more permanent and typically caused by flat shoes with minimal support. These conditions happen when the Achilles tendon and the muscles at the back of your leg tighten while you’re walking. It puts a strain on the ligaments that support your arch, and prolonged damage can cause extreme pain in your arch and heel.


If you’re suffering from any of these issues now, you may want to try going barefoot as research shows that removing your shoes can aid in correcting bunions and bone deformities. The best places to do this is inside your home or at the beach.


  1. Back Pain

Back pain is an excruciating effect of wearing improper shoes, especially high heels. Heels can have an adverse impact on your lower back, particularly the lumbar area. Pumps and even wedges can also lead to a forward tilting of the pelvis, and slight displacement of the spine.

With heels’ inclined slope, most people immediately feel a tightening of the muscles at the back of their legs and pressure on the balls of their feet. However, they persevere for the name of beauty and fashion.

A majority of men and women who favor heels suffer from this condition. While it’s undeniable that wearing this type of shoe makes you look good and boost your self-esteem, you should still opt for the best shoes for back pain when going about your daily errands and reserve that Christian Louboutin for special occasions.


  1. Bone and Joint Problems

Inadequate support from the wrong type of shoes can put a lot of strain on your knees and heels because of your body weight. The most common form of arthritis caused by ill-fitting footwear is osteoarthritis.

It comes after the protective cartilage that serves to cushion the ends of your bones wears down. The disorder manifests itself in your hips, knees, and spine if it’s an effect of wearing the wrong shoes.

Harvard Health reported that the footwear you choose should have a rounded toe and sturdy arch support. It must also be made from a soft material for comfort without neglecting durability. Moreover, if you’ve become accustomed to wearing heels, a flat shoe may be uncomfortable at first, so it’s best to start with a low heel.


  1. Spine Injury

Ignoring your back pain and continually wearing ill-fitting footwear can ultimately lead to severe damage to your spine. Cramming your feet into tight shoes can hamper the natural movement and structure of your feet, which can significantly alter the position of your spine. Make sure to test the shoes and check for comfort as well as support.



Wearing the wrong shoes will affect not only your self-esteem, but also your physical well-being. Prevent feet damage, back pain, bone and joint problems, as well as spine injury by choosing footwear that gives your toe enough room to wiggle and provides ample arch support.

You should also consider the material of the shoes. It should be soft and offer a cushion to your feet, but it ought to feel durable.


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Written by HealthStatus Crew
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus teams with authors from organizations to share interesting ideas, products and new health information to our readers.

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