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UK shoe buying habits causing foot pain?

Monday 15th April 2019
A new survey suggests UK shoppers are causing themselves unnecessary foot pain by purchasing shoes before trying them on.
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Foot pain can be an unpleasant thing to deal with, but it is also often very preventable. One of the ways in which you can avoid developing it is to make sure you’re purchasing shoes that fit, which is why a recent survey from the College of Podiatry is so surprising.

The College polled 2,000 adults from across the UK, and found a large number of people aren’t trying on shoes before they buy them. This may be linked to the rise in online shopping, with 56 per cent of respondents having bought shoes via the internet in the past year, despite being unable to try them on first.

This is not good news for overall foot health. The College of Podiatry found that two-thirds (66 per cent) of adults who don’t always try on their shoes before purchasing end up with foot health problems, while only 53 per cent of those who check the fit of their footwear have the same issues.

The reason such a large proportion of UK adults have issues with their foot health, even when they’re trying on shoes, could be because so few of them have an accurate idea of what size they are. The survey found that 68 per cent of adults never get their feet measured, making them almost twice as likely to experience general foot pain.

Interestingly, one of the reasons the UK public might be buying poorly-fitting shoes is the tendency to make a purchase before midday, something 34 per cent of respondents said they did. Our feet swell naturally as the day goes on, meaning that mid-afternoon is the best time to buy shoes that will fit your feet at their largest.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, consultant podiatrist with the College of Podiatry, said: “Our feet are amazing; they are a masterpiece of natural engineering and we rely upon them to help us stay fit and well. Without healthy, pain-free feet, we can’t walk, do sports or even relax properly. A basic knowledge of foot health care is essential for everyone.”

Photo credit: Unsplash/Imani ClovisADNFCR-1780-ID-801850041-ADNFCR

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