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6 Signs You’re Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Wearing the wrong shoes?

Am I wearing the wrong shoe size? Or type? Finding the right shoes is a challenge. Of course, you have a size chart, which can give a helping hand. However, our feet are three-dimensional, and so a chart can never be accurate. Plus, everyone’s feet are different, and so there is no magical formula when it comes to finding the right shoes for you. But jellies are often a popular choice as they have such a wide range. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 6 common signs that you’re wearing the wrong shoes.

1. You’re in pain

Let’s begin with the most obvious point of them all. If you are in pain, your shoes are not right for you. Your shoes should never cause your pain or irritation. It’s that simple.

However, we seem to assume that this is something we simply have to accept – no pain, no gain, as they say! Well, that phrase certainly does not apply to wearing shoes.

If the pain persists no matter what shoes you wear, it could signify something is wrong, such as an injury or a certain condition. From fallen arches to bunions, plantar fasciitis, and flat foot, there are a number of conditions that can cause pain.

Luckily, there are also flat feet shoes available, as well as shoes for other conditions, reducing the pain and ensuring you can get about comfortably. Go to to find the best shoes for your condition.

2. You’re wearing the wrong shoes if they’re worn out

No matter how much you try to protect your shoes, pounding the pavement will cause some damage over the years. You may get to the point where your shoes do not provide the support they used to.

You should be able to tell that your shoes need an upgrade. Signs include noticeable creases, as well as listing to one side when you place them on a flat surface. When it comes to walking shoes and trainers, which are part of your fitness accessories, if you log about ten miles per week, you should change your shoes at least once per year.

3. Your arches ache by the end of the day

The muscles at the bottom of your feet will tighten with every step if your shoes are not supportive enough or if they are too big. That is an attempt to keep your arch up.

This instinctive flexing ensures your shoes do not slip around or slide off. However, it can also lead to plantar fasciitis and other overuse injuries.

But, don’t simply put pain at the back of your mind. It is a sign that you’re wearing the wrong shoes. Make sure you get the right shoes to minimize the symptoms you are experiencing.

4. You have bruised toenails, calluses, or blisters

If you are suffering from any of these injuries, it is a clear sign that your shoes are rubbing you the wrong way. Often, this is because they are too narrow or tight in certain areas. This pressure can have an impact on your joints or cause your skin to harden. This can result in ingrown toenails, bunions, and painful corns.

5. You’re wearing the wrong shoes if your toes graze the tip of them

Am I wearing the wrong shoe size? Yes, if there is no room between your toe and the start of your shoe. No matter what type of shoes you wear, you should be able to wiggle your toes.

This is especially important because our feet expand as the day goes on. So, if you barely have room in the morning, your feet will be in pain by the end of the day.

For this reason, it’s advisable to go shoe shopping in the afternoon or evening. That’s when your feet are at their biggest, whether you’re looking for walking or running shoes.

6. You’ve had the same size shoe since high school

Last but not least, if you have been wearing the same size shoe since you were at high school, this is a clear sign that you need some new sneakers, flats, or another type of footwear. In this case, the answer to, “Am I wearing the wrong shoe size?” is “yes.”

This is something that may shock a lot of people; after all, your feet stop growing, right? While that is true, your feet spread as you get older.

That change happens as a result of the arch gradually falling. As a consequence, it is not uncommon for people to go up a shoe size or more as they get older.

No matter how old you are, getting your feet measured at your local shoe store at least once every year is a good idea.

Am I wearing the wrong shoe size? Final words

If any of the scenarios above sound familiar, it is time to ditch your shoes and invest in a new pair! You may love the style, but if they are causing pain, you should never risk your health.


Top photo via Pexels, CC0 License.

36 thoughts on “6 Signs You’re Wearing the Wrong Shoes”

  1. I know my feet have “stretched” out as you put it, because in the last few years I’ve had to start buying shoes a half size larger than what I wore through my twenties and into my thirties. I’ve long since forsaken appearance for comfort in regards to my feet!

    1. Comfort comes first – let’s enjoy our time out of the house so that we won’t have to soak tender footsies once we’re back there at at the end of the day ;)

  2. I’ve known two people with knee problems that needed treatment. Both had signs of uneven wear on the soles of their shoes. It seems that a deviation from normal balanced walking results in uneven wear which then adds to the problem.

    Perhaps It is worth watching for uneven wear as a symptom of an uneven gait or one foot pointing outward, either of which have their own outcome. :-)

    1. Great additional tip here, Graham! It’s like uneven wear on a car’s tires – it’s likely a sign that there’s a problem with the chassis. Here’s to balance.

  3. After finding a shoe that fits properly, flexible orthotics were my answer! It’s not a hard core orthotic, nor a commercial arch support. They fall in between. You will need a doctor’s reference to a foot clinic, such as Walking Mobility Clinic, which is the one I go to in Toronto.
    I walk a lot!!! A two – four hour walk is exhilarating!

  4. Some styles are a pain! Now I just go for comfort and wonder how some ladies can walk on pencil heels all day! :)

  5. Now who doesn’t love a post about shoes? :) I love shoes and have way too many, even so, through the years I know my my limit on heel height to save my back. More than 3 inches are reserved for in and out of the car to the restaurant only, lol. When I was younger any beautiful shoe would do. Now I make sure of height, width doesn’t constrict for those hotter days when feet tend to swell, and often I buy a half size bigger for extra wiggle room. If needed I add a comfort insole which fits great with the extra half size up. :) xx

    1. It sounds like you’ve learned to care for your feet better over the years, Debby. Sensible heels, yes. I love runners ~ and thankfully there are many funky styles available now :) You’re a shoe gal, awww, you’re so cute :)

    2. Absolutely, I love shoes but have learned to gauge heel height for the occasion, lol. I also have several funky running shoes, surprised? I didn’t think so, lol. :) xx

  6. John Fioravanti

    Great post, Christy – I’m off to see my podiatrist on the 28th to find out why my left heel is so painful.

  7. Good tips! When I was younger, as long as the shoe looked good, I would wear it. At this age I go for comfort first but it has to be stylish too. Luckily I can usually find both but I have to pay more. And I do have favorite brands that always deliver. I would rather shop for shoes than clothes as they are the foundation for an outfit.

    1. The good thing about paying more for shoes is that hopefully they’ll last longer… and that’s a good thing if we find a pair that is stylish AND comfortable. I find pants the hardest thing to shop for, personally!

  8. Great article Christy. I think the main problem for many of us lies in the final paragraph, we like the style…and will cram our little toes in no matter what it takes. Cheers to you, my friend, and our precious feet.

  9. At the beginning of each season I have a little trouble with some of my shoes. For some reason, the first time I wear them, they cause pain or hurt a bit. A few days after, no more pain, no more trouble fir the whole season.

    1. It could be that you’re “breaking them in” or they’re forming to your feet as you wear them. Glad to hear the pain dissipates :)

  10. Hi Christy:
    Several month ago I was spending a great deal of time in work boots on concrete. I started to have pain in my heels, I went to a specialty foot orthopaedic center and they suggested a fitting. I did find a far better solution through Birkenstock who have a half insole which corrected the problem.
    I have worn cowboy boots for years and they do have a great arch support.

    Hugs and all

  11. Ah … I thought it was just me — always struggling to find the right shoes. Once I find a size of a brand that I am comfortable with, I keep buying the same thing again and again until the brand does not produce those shoes anymore. Surprisingly, shutting down the right model and size of shoes happens a lot in the shoe business. :-)

    Have a wonderful day.

    1. It’s tough when you find a great shoe and then it’s not made any longer! Like with some products at the store too (thinking of face lotions, etc). I’m hoping your feet are healthy and you keep smiling :)

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