Many common foot problems that develop in men are related to their choice of footwear. While men may not have access to as many varied shoe styles as women, they face several of the same issues with fit.
The average man will experience a gradual increase in foot size over their lifetime. If years have passed since your last foot measurement, take the time to have your feet measured the next time you visit a shoe store. You may be surprised to find that your foot size and width has increased.
What to look for in men’s shoes
Men’s shoes should conform to the shape of their feet. Some of the best shoe styles for men are oxfords, slip-ons, dressy loafers, and dress boots.
If you are unsure about what size shoe will fit your feet, have your feet measured in a shoe store. Above all, focus on comfort. If shoes are uncomfortable, you will not feel good wearing them. Here is a list of tips to consider when trying on and purchasing new shoes:
- Bring a pair of your own socks to try on with shoes.
- Choose flexible, shock absorbing soles.
- Flat shoes are the best for foot health; if you need a heel, look for shoes with a heel height of two inches or less.
- Have both of your feet measured in store for the most accurate sizing.
- If a shoe feels too stiff, do not expect to break it in. Invest in shoes with soft materials that have some give.
- If you can see the outline of your foot, size up or look for a wider shoe.
- Make sure there is enough room in the toe box to flex your toes.
Issues created by improper fit
Foot problems can often be traced to an issue with shoe sizing or shoe material. Shoes that are too tight, too loose, too airtight, or not shaped properly to conform to the foot can contribute to the following foot conditions:
- Aching, tired feet
- Arch pain
- Blisters, corns, and calluses
- Fungal infections
- Heel pain
- Ingrown toenails
Among men, one of the most common foot conditions is athlete’s foot. Tight-fitting shoes made of synthetic materials are usually the culprit. To avoid fungal infections, it is important to choose shoes that breathe and to periodically air out shoes and socks.
If you develop any foot conditions due to improperly fitting footwear, schedule an appointment with a skilled podiatrist for treatment.