It takes an astonishing three and a half days for feet to go back to normal after wearing ill-fitting shoes, new research has found. Nearly 30 million Brits have damaged their feet by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly - so much so that they found it uncomfortable to walk afterwards.
The study, commissioned by shoe brand Hotter, found the average person wears uncomfortable shoes two days each month, adding up to more than three weeks of recovery time over a year.
One in five people haven’t had their feet measured in 10 years or more, leading to millions having no idea what their shoe size truly is.
'Badly fitting shoes can lead to neck and back pain'
Dina Gohil, a podiatrist and foot expert, warned that, as well as crippling our feet, wearing poorly fitting shoes can even result in back and neck problems.
She said, “Think of shoes as the foundations of your body, if the foundations don't support you properly it puts more pressure on other areas of the body like you knees, hips and lower back. This extra pressure will cause for overcompensation on these areas.
"It is incredible how so many people are unaware that something as simple as the footwear may cause lower body pains and aches and even in your neck.”
'Sit down only' shoes
The study also found that one in eight adults knowingly wear the wrong size shoes, despite the agony they cause - simply because they like the style. Nearly a third have shoes they describe as ‘sit down shoes’ only, that they can’t actually walk in.
As a result of wearing the wrong size footwear, a 10th of Brits have to deal with bunions on a daily basis. A total of 38 per cent report hard skin on their feet, while more than one in 20 are contending with painful blisters.
It also emerged that four in 10 adults say looking good is their primary consideration when buying shoes, while a 10th are more concerned whether their legs look nice. Just under a fifth of people also believe they must wear the wrong size shoes because the ones they want aren’t available in half size or different width options.
To find out how much you know about feet and the effects ill-fitting shoes can have on your body, take the Hotter feet quiz.