Generations of people have assumed that once we are fully grown, our feet remained the same size. As we aged, the issue of finding our size and width of our shoes was long solved... Or so we believed! The changes in medical, retail and fashion discourse has been astounding- the past twenty years has seen an all-encompassing overhaul in how the we understand the mechanism and functionality of shoes and feet. It is now well understood that despite older assumptions, our feet actually are getting wider as we age, as well as generationally! It is a recognized truism that our feet are getting larger in every way.
Flat feet are also more prevalent than ever. They can be directly correlated with wider feet. There is an ever increasing pursuit of remedy for flat feet and the pain caused by them. Wide shoes can alleviate a lot of the discomfort experienced by flat feet in traditionally narrow shoes.
Surprisingly, the more we run and exercise the wider and larger our feet get! This is well known among many shoe manufacturers, particularly those in the sports shoe arena. The increase in body size and body muscle effects our feet, whether it be actual structural strength of the feet increasing, or the body's adaptive need to increase its ability to support a heavier muscular body. Never feel shy about your wide feet- it could mean you are fitter then you thought!
The idea that our feet do not change width throughout our lifetime can mean that we adhere to old patterns and habits of purchasing and choosing shoes. We assume that what fit us ten years ago will still fit us well now. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our bodies are constantly changing constitution and size, and our feet are no exception. Our feet are more than just bone- we have many other structures and mechanisms in them that change. As we explore in this article, widening of feet is one important example.
We are of course driven by a want of beauty in what we wear and obtain, shoes being particularly valued as a symbol of either strength or delicate poise, depending on our aesthetic and cultural preferences. It is a truism that women will seek beauty in her shoes, and we all view shoes as a symbol of experience and stature! More deeply than this, however, is the habit of shoe shopping. If we can challenge ourselves to try something new and believe that wide shoes can be a better option- even if we are not sure it will help us- we can open ourselves up to a higher level of comfort and support. Embracing the market for wide shoes can better our experience of daily life, and those special events where supremely beautiful shoes are a must!
Having shoes that are too narrow can have health consequences- both short term and long term. We may have pain, unsightly bunions, corns and pressure. Longer term issues may include structural foot damage and structural pain throughout our body. Wide shoes are no longer a niche for the medical arena. As we have explored, we can all enjoy a wide shoe designed on the basis of both beauty and comfort . The change in shoe discourse leaning towards the widening of peoples' feet has posed a wonderful challenge to fashion and design. No longer are we willing to dichotomize beauty and comfort. We want both and we will have them! In our culture we can have both, so let us embrace it and allow our feet to be embraced with comfort and beauty!