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Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates
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Long Legs, Thin Stomach and Big Feet?!?

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Runway models may be ‘twigs’ but there is one part of their body that is not as tiny as you may think- their feet! The majority of models are supposed to be tall, but usually the taller you are, the larger size feet you have. I was surprised to learn that Elle MacPherson wears size 11.5 shoes, Heidi Klum and Paris Hilton wear a size 11, and Tyra Banks sports a size 12! My first thought after learning that these fashion forward women had larger feet was- How do they still manage to get the CUTEST shoes with their large size?! I would think you’d have to special order a 4 inch rhinestone encrusted stiletto in a size 12.

The sad reality is most women reading this article (including the one writing it) don’t have a celebrity shoe designer waiting at their will to custom design shoes in our specific size.  Thus we are left to rummage through shelf after shelf of different styles and sizes in search for that perfect shoe. This can be a challenge for any woman, especially those with larger shoe sizes as many styles are not readily stocked in larger sizes.

Regardless of what size or style of shoe you’re hunting for, it’s imperative to try on both shoes before buying them to ensure proper fit. Look at this way- by trying them on before committing to them, you can also make sure the shoes flatter your body versus make your tootsies look like sardines crammed into a can.  Fashion doesn’t have to be painful if you get shoes that fit correctly and follow a few basic tips. 

  1. Try on every pair of shoes you buy, don’t rely on your ‘shoe size’. Depending on the style and brand of the shoe you may need to go up or down a size or width.
  2. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate socks or stockings for the shoe gear you are trying on. For example, you don’t want to try on dress shoes with thick athletic socks if that’s not the type of sock you will be wearing with that shoe.  Your size and/or width may differ and the shoe may rub more depending on the sock or stocking.  Also, I personally think thick athletic socks with a small strappy dress shoe is one fashion statement that would never catch on.
  3. The best time to try on shoes is in the middle or end of the day. Feet tend to swell throughout the day so shoes can fit more snug at the end of the day. Trying on shoes in the afternoon or night will allow your feet to be comfortable in shoes, even with the maximum amount of swelling.
  4. Shoes are made for walking, so make sure that you can do just that comfortably before committing to a pair. Take the shoes for a stroll around the store.  If shoes are tight in the store don’t assume you can magically ‘break them in’ after wearing them a few times. You are more likely to ‘break’ something on you versus breaking them in.  If they don’t fit well now, they won’t fit well later.
  5. Once you’ve made the purchase, wear the shoes around the house for a few hours, or even days. This will give your feet a chance to get used to the shoes and discover any problems such as blisters from rubbing or your heel slipping while you walk.
  6. Don’t buy a pair of shoes simply because they are on sale, unless they actually fit you. It may seem like you’re saving money initially, but in the long run you’ll end up spending more because you’ll have to go buy a pair later that actually fit right.

No matter if your shoe size is 4 or 14, ill-fitting shoes can lead to a number of painful and unsightly problems. Tight shoes can form blisters that can turn into open lesions and ulcers. Shoes with a small toe box can encourage bunions and hammertoes. Loose shoes allow your feet to slide around and can cause instability and falls. I think we all can agree that crutches or a walker is not a good fashion statement!

Take the time to ensure that you have comfortable, well-fitting shoes; your feet will thank you for it! Call 309-661-9975 or click here to make an appointment to have a foot care specialist measure your length and width, and recommend the best shoe for you!

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