Women risking crippling foot problems by wearing the wrong shoe size

Foot experts have revealed for the first time why women’s feet suffer so much in our summer shoes – we wear the wrong size.

We’ve all been there, having to walk painfully on the grass barefoot because our shoes have rubbed to the point of pain – and hobbling for a few days afterwards as we deal with the resulting blisters.  It’s usually on the first few days of summer, as our feet adjust – Podiatrists label it ‘socks off season!’

 

‘2018 Socks off season’ delayed thanks to the cold snap

This year, it seems our annual “socks off season” – the longed-for time every year when women can finally ditch their socks and boots for sandals and flip-flops – has been delayed by the unseasonable cold snap which blighted early spring.

With temperatures finally hotting up in the UK, foot specialists are warning that women face a potential blister crisis because their feet have been wrapped up in socks and comfy boots for far longer than usual.

This combined with the little-known fact that women are wearing the wrong size shoes in the summer mean they face an agonising barrage of foot problems now the time has come to ditch their socks.

94% of women don’t know summer shoes should be half a size bigger

New survey results reveal that a massive 94 per cent of British women have no idea that their summer shoes should be at least half a size bigger than their winter ones.

This is in order to cope with hot, swollen feet and to prevent blisters, with all 94 per cent admitting they wear the same size shoes all year round.

Consultant Podiatrist Emma Supple says:

“When the weather warms up, our feet swell in the heat which means we have to squeeze our feet in to our summer shoes.

“This makes skin more prone to blisters and getting generally sore and uncomfortable and is why we always recommended people buy their summer shoes half a size bigger than their winter ones. It can take weeks for feet to get summer soft and ready to be put through their paces in sandals or flip flops.”

Although the “official” start of spring is March 1, the UK suffered snow and storms from the “Beast from the East”, storm Emma and the “Mini Beast from the East” through most of that month, delaying ‘socks off season’.

The research surveyed 1,087 women aged 16+ across the UK and was carried out on behalf of blister plaster experts Compeed.  Researchers revealed that:

  • 92 per cent of women are still wearing their winter shoes.
  • Just over a third (36 per cent) of women will only swap for summer shoes when the temperature is above 17C and
  • more than a third (37 per cent) want to see a few hot days in a row before they shed their socks.
  • The survey found that almost half (45 per cent) of women aim to ditch their socks between March and May.

Short lived heatwaves can lead to sore feet

Many women thought socks off season had arrived last month, when the nation basked in a mini heatwave when temperatures hit 29.1C in St James’s Park, London, making April 19th the hottest April day for almost 70 years.

And 60 per cent of those questioned made the most of it, taking their socks off and getting their summer shoes on for the hot spell – but the temperature rise was so sudden, half (50 per cent) of 16-24 year olds admitted getting sore feet or blisters.

However, despite the warmer temperature, 30 per cent did not get their feet out because they knew it wouldn’t last and one in five 16-24 year olds kept their winter boots on because they didn’t want to risk getting blisters or sore feet!

Summer blisters – more than just a pain in the foot

Researchers found that summer blisters were an issue for many, with one in three women questioned saying they suffer from blisters as soon as they wear their summer shoes or flip-flops for the first time or as soon as their feet get hot and swollen.

A surprising 32 per cent of 16- 24 year olds say they have been left unable to walk because of their painful blisters.

Ms Supple added:

“We have been suffering through what has felt like a much longer winter than usual. This means it is likely women across the country will have kept their feet encased in winter socks and shoes for weeks and even months more than usual. 

“Throughout winter we ignore our feet, we never look at them and we neglect them badly. So when we finally take our socks off, our feet are really prone to debilitating blisters when we wear sandals and flip-flops. When we then wear the wrong size shoes it is a recipe for a foot disaster.

The answer it seems is to remember that feet swell in the hear and buy our shoes accordingly – however, if it’s too late, and you have one already, Ms. Supple says using the right plaster can help keep you mobile while the painful blisters heal.

How to treat blisters – Consultant Podiatrist gives her verdict

“Compeed plasters seal a blister by forming a second skin and, as they won’t rub off and are sweat and waterproof, they provide instant pain relief, superior adhesion and 20 per cent faster healing compared to regular plasters.

“Blisters can be extremely painful and even debilitating, stopping people from carrying out their everyday lives properly – but properly treated blisters can quickly become pain-free, allowing you to carry on.”