January 23rd is Measure Your Feet Day. I was a little surprised to learn of this, as it seemed so…strange. But it caused me to stop and think. How long has it been since you’ve had your feet measured, or measured them yourself? For me, I think it’s been since my teenage years. Since I stopped growing, I’ve always assumed my feet were a certain size and have always worn shoes that were that size. But is this a good thing? Unfortunately, people tend to neglect their feet until they find themselves in inordinate pain. Measure Your Feet Day can serve as a reminder to take care of our feet.
There are good reasons to measure your feet on this day. For one, you’ll know exactly what shoe size you are. You’ll also know whether your feet are wide or narrow, instead of merely looking at your feet and guessing. I look at my feet and think they’re medium, but I’m small overall so they may actually be narrow. Too many people wear shoes that don’t really fit them or support their feet. Most of us don’t realize how much wearing ill-fitting shoes can damage our feet. I’m reminded of the popularity of flip-flops this past summer and the warnings podiatrists gave against this fad as a result, this is how our experienced podiatry professionals can help us in taking care of our feet.
It’s very important to measure your feet if you order footwear online because these shoes you can’t try on to see if they fit. And bear in mind that different kinds of footwear may run different sizes. Boots, for example, might run smaller than athletic shoes. And according to the information I found on New Balance Shoes’ website, our feet can grow with age. So doesn’t it make sense to have your feet measured each year to make sure you keep buying shoes that fit?
But if you don’t measure your feet and you continue to wear poorly fitting shoes, what’s the worst that can happen? The most obvious thing you’ll notice is pain. But you could also end up with bunions and ingrown toenails, which, if not treated properly, can lead to infection. Severe enough infection may warrant the removal of the affected toe. And even if you don’t get an infection, your feet will not be very pretty to look at, and you probably will not want to show them off. What good will all of those cute poorly fitting shoes be then? Gregg Hall has some more warnings for people wearing poorly-fitting shoes. He also has a step-by-step article on measuring your feet here.