The type of shoes you wear is often the most telling factor when it comes to diagnosing specific problems with your feet, including ingrown toenails. Your feet are often stuck inside your shoes for 8 to 10 hours a day, sometimes longer. Being trapped in this dark, moist environment with little airflow can cause bacteria to grow at an alarming rate. This dramatically increases the risk of infection. Shoes can also restrict blood flow and prevent the toes from moving naturally. All of these factors lead to the perfect environment for ingrown toenails and other foot problems.
Loose Fitting Shoes
Loose fitting shoes that are either stretched out or just too big, will often slip and slide while you walk. This provides little to no stability to the arch of your foot or the curves of your toes.
When the shoe is allowed to slide, your toes are often shoved towards the front. This type of repeated contact can lead to irritation of the toes and toenails. Over time, an ingrown toenail can develop.
Aside from any shoe that is too big for your feet, there are other types of loose fitting shoes to be mindful of. Always buy shoes that fit snugly without any gaps at the heel or along the sides. If a shoe becomes stretched out over time, replace them. It's much easier and less painful to replace a pair of shoes than deal with an ingrown toenail or other potential foot problem.
Shoes That Are Too Tight
Children and young adults who are still growing are the ones who are at the highest risk of wearing shoes that are too tight. Parents should constantly monitor their children's feet for signs that their shoes are becoming uncomfortable.
Foot pain, ingrown toenails, redness around the ankles or over the tops of the feet are all signs that a child's shoes are too tight.
Athletic shoes and dress shoes are often the culprits because they are the most expensive and children tend to outgrow them before they are worn out. The additional expense of replacing shoes that are too small is well worth it if you can save your child from a lifetime of foot pain and discomfort.
The Perfect Shoe
No matter what type of activity you are participating in, it is essential that you wear a shoe that fits well and is ideal for what you are doing. Don't wear expensive heels if you are going to be on your feet all day or walking on uneven surfaces.
Always make sure your shoes fit comfortably without pinching or cramping your toes. Your feet should be able to move comfortably within the shoes without your toes bumping against the front of your heel being pressed into the back.
Walk a few steps and readjust your laces if you have to. This takes the pressure off of the top of your foot and helps to maintain proper arch support.
Other Steps to Prevent Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful. If you begin to experience them more often, you should look closely at the shoes you wear. Are they too tight? Too loose? Do they pinch or cramp your toes? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, your shoes may be the culprit.
An appointment with Dr. Nagy will help you uncover the potential cause of your ingrown toenails. He can provide you with sound advice on what size or type of shoe is best for certain activities and what type is most beneficial in preventing problems with your feet, like toenail fungus, ingrown toenails, or fallen arches.
A New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare can examine your feet to detect any potential problems with your shoes or in general.
If you have concerns about the shoes you wear, they can advise you on how your shoes are affecting your feet and what you can do to prevent potential harm. They can also identify any risks you may have when it comes to ingrown toenails, fallen arches or other problems.
Contact Nagy Footcare today to schedule a consultation, find out how your shoes affect your feet, and what you can do to prevent potential pain and discomfort.
At Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.