All shoes hurt my feet—if you’ve ever had this thought, you’re not alone. Many people experience foot pain from wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or lack proper support. Here are the main reasons why shoes might be hurting your feet:

  • Improper fit: Wrong size or width.
  • Lack of support: No cushioning or arch support.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Issues like flat feet needing special attention.

Most of us will walk about 110,000 miles in our lifetime. That’s almost five trips around the world! Imagine doing all that walking in uncomfortable shoes. Ouch!

Foot health is crucial for our overall well-being. Our feet bear our weight, act as shock absorbers, and help us balance. When our feet hurt, it can lead to pain in other parts of our body, like our back, hips, and knees.

To make sure your feet are happy, you need good shoes that provide the right support and fit. Let’s explore the common foot problems caused by bad shoes and how to avoid them.

Common Foot Problems Caused by Shoes - all shoes hurt my feet infographic cause_effect_text

Understanding Why All Shoes Hurt My Feet

The Role of Improper Fit

One of the main reasons all shoes hurt my feet is improper fit. Many people think they know their shoe size, but feet can change over time. According to Dr. Allison Rottman, DPM, as we age, our feet tend to lengthen and our shoe sizes may increase because tendons and ligaments stretch out and lose elasticity. Weight fluctuations and medical conditions can also change your shoe size.

Neyla Lobkova, D.P.M., from Step-Up Foot Care, emphasizes the importance of getting your feet measured regularly. She advises trying on shoes later in the day when your feet are more swollen to ensure a better fit.

Lack of Support and Cushioning

Another culprit for foot pain is the lack of support and cushioning in your shoes. Unsupportive shoes can lead to several foot problems, including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, stress fractures, and shin splints.

When shoes don’t provide enough cushioning, your feet absorb more impact, leading to pain and discomfort. Dr. Rottman suggests looking for shoes with ample cushioning and shock-absorbing materials like EVA foam or gel inserts.

Underlying Medical Conditions

Sometimes, foot pain isn’t just about the shoes. Underlying medical conditions can make it feel like all shoes hurt my feet. For instance, people with flat feet often need orthotic insoles for extra support.

Visiting a podiatrist can help diagnose underlying issues. They can provide custom orthotics or recommend specific types of shoes that can alleviate pain. Conditions like plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and diabetes require special footwear to prevent further complications.

By understanding these factors, you can make better choices and find shoes that keep your feet comfortable and pain-free. Next, let’s dive into common foot problems caused by bad shoes and how to avoid them.

Common Foot Problems Caused by Shoes


Bunions, or Hallux Valgus, happen when the bone at the base of your big toe enlarges and pushes the toe inward. This creates a bony bump on the side of the foot, which can be painful and swollen. Narrow shoes often cause bunions, especially in women.

Non-surgical treatments include switching to shoes with a wider toe box and using bunion pads to relieve pressure. In severe cases, a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy may be necessary to remove the bony bump and realign the toe.

Fractures, Sprains, and Strains

Wearing ill-fitting shoes increases the risk of fractures, sprains, and strains. Shoes that lack proper tread can cause slips and falls, leading to foot and ankle injuries.

Make sure your shoes fit well and provide good traction to prevent these injuries. Properly fitting shoes can make walking easier and safer.

Hammertoe and Claw Toes

Hammertoe occurs when the toe muscles weaken, causing the second toe to bend upward at the joint. Claw toes involve one to four toes curling into an inflexible claw shape. Both conditions can result from wearing high heels or extremely flexible flat shoes. These deformities often cause calluses and corns due to constant friction.

Non-invasive treatments like strapping and wearing shoes with a wide toe box can help. In severe cases, surgery might be recommended to correct the deformity.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot. Overuse, standing on hard surfaces for long periods, and wearing unsupportive shoes can lead to this condition.

Symptoms include sharp heel pain, especially with the first steps in the morning. To prevent plantar fasciitis, wear shoes with good arch support and cushioning.

Diabetic Feet

Diabetics are prone to foot problems due to peripheral neuropathy (PN), which causes pain and numbness. This makes it easy to overlook cuts and wounds, increasing the risk of infections. Proper footwear is crucial for diabetics to avoid complications.

Diabetics should avoid narrow or ill-fitting shoes and consult their doctors for specific footwear recommendations. Proper shoes can prevent infections and improve foot circulation.

By knowing these common foot problems caused by shoes, you can take steps to avoid them and keep your feet healthy. Next, we’ll explore how to prevent foot pain with the right footwear.

How to Prevent Foot Pain with the Right Footwear

Choosing the Right Shoe for the Right Activity

Wearing the right shoe for your activity can prevent a lot of foot pain. For example, hiking in sneakers can lead to twisted ankles and sore feet. Instead, wear hiking boots with ankle support.

Similarly, flip-flops are great for the beach but not for walking long distances. They lack support and can lead to blisters and foot pain.

Dr. Rottman advises using shoes that are designed for specific activities. For running, wear running shoes. For playing basketball, wear basketball shoes. This ensures you get the right support and cushioning.

hiking boots - all shoes hurt my feet

Better High-Heel Practices

High heels can look amazing but often come with a cost: foot pain. To minimize this, follow these tips:

  • Choose thicker heels or wedges: These provide better stability than thin stilettos.
  • Keep heel height under 2 inches: Lower heels reduce the pressure on your feet.
  • Limit wear time: Don’t wear high heels all day. Bring a pair of flats to switch into.
  • Look for round-toe designs: These give your toes more wiggle room.

Dr. Rottman suggests strappy sandals as a more supportive alternative to high heels.

high heels - all shoes hurt my feet

Getting the Right Shoe Size

Wearing the wrong shoe size is a common cause of foot pain. Your feet can change size over time due to weight gain, aging, or swelling. Always measure your feet before buying new shoes.

  • Shop in the late afternoon: Feet swell throughout the day. Shopping later ensures a better fit.
  • Try shoes on with the socks you plan to wear: This helps in getting the right fit.
  • Walk around in the shoes: Make sure they feel comfortable and don’t pinch or rub.

Dr. Lew Schon emphasizes that a proper fit is crucial for avoiding foot problems.

Replacing Worn-Out Shoes

Old shoes lose their support and can lead to issues like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and tendonitis. Here are some tips:

  • Replace athletic shoes every 300 to 500 miles: Worn-out soles can’t provide the necessary support.
  • Check for signs of wear: Look for worn-down soles or separating material.
  • Consider resoling: If the upper part of the shoe is still in good condition, resoling can give your shoes a new life.

Dr. Michelle Castiello recommends checking the padding and support of your shoes regularly.

worn-out shoes - all shoes hurt my feet

By choosing the right footwear and following these tips, you can prevent foot pain and keep your feet healthy.

Next, we’ll discuss what to look for when shopping for new shoes to ensure they meet your needs.

What to Look for When Shoe Shopping

Ensuring Proper Fit and Comfort

When shopping for new shoes, comfort and fit should be your top priorities. Here are some key factors to consider:

Sturdy Soles

Sturdy soles are essential for protecting your feet from sharp objects and providing good traction. This helps prevent slips and falls. Make sure the soles support your foot’s natural movement.


Shoes should protect your feet from the environment. Look for features like waterproof membranes for wet conditions or steel toes for hazardous environments.

Weight Distribution and Ankle Security

If the heel is elevated, your weight should be evenly distributed, and your ankle should feel secure. This reduces the risk of tripping or falling.

Arch Support

Proper arch support is crucial. Flat feet need more support, while high arches require more cushioning. Poor arch support can lead to joint pain and other foot problems.


Comfort is key. Walk around in the shoes to ensure they feel good. If they cause discomfort in the store, they will likely cause problems later.

Walking Around

Don’t just try shoes onwalk around in them. Pay attention to how they feel. Your toes should have enough room to wiggle, and your heel should stay secure.

Brand Inconsistency

Shoe sizes can vary between brands. Always try on shoes before buying, even if you think you know your size.

Footbed Shape

Make sure the footbed matches the shape of your foot. A good fit prevents issues like bunions and hammertoes.

Joint Comfort

Consider how your other joints feel when you walk in the shoes. Discomfort in your knees, hips, or back could indicate that the shoes are not right for you.

By focusing on these factors, you can find shoes that will keep your feet comfortable and healthy. Up next, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about why all shoes might be hurting your feet.

Frequently Asked Questions about All Shoes Hurt My Feet

Why are all my shoes hurting my feet?

If all shoes hurt your feet, the most common culprit is an improper fit. Shoes that are too tight, too loose, or the wrong size can cause a multitude of problems. According to Neyla Lobkova, D.P.M. from Step-Up Foot Care, many people wear the wrong-sized shoe without realizing it.

Width specification is just as crucial as length. If your shoes are too narrow, they can squeeze your toes and cause bunions or hammertoes. On the flip side, if your shoes are too wide, your feet can slide around, leading to blisters and calluses.

How do you stop your shoes from hurting your feet?

There are several solutions to alleviate foot pain from shoes:

  • Socks: Choose socks that provide extra cushioning and support.
  • Toe Protectors: These can prevent blisters and reduce friction.
  • Shoe Pads: Adding pads can help with areas that rub or cause pain.
  • Insoles: Custom or off-the-shelf insoles can provide extra support and cushioning.
  • Paper Tape: Some people find that taping problem areas can reduce blisters and discomfort.

You might also consider visiting a podiatrist to get custom orthotics if you have underlying medical issues like flat feet.

Can the wrong shoes make your feet hurt?

Absolutely. Ill-fitting shoes are a major cause of foot pain. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, bunions, and hammertoes. Shoes that are too loose can lead to slips, trips, and falls, increasing the risk of fractures, sprains, and strains.

Unsupportive shoes are another problem. Lack of proper support can lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. For example, flat shoes without arch support can exacerbate foot pain and lead to long-term issues.

In summary, the key to preventing foot pain is to ensure your shoes fit well and provide adequate support. If you’re still experiencing discomfort, it may be time to consult a specialist.

Next, we’ll wrap up with a conclusion on how to maintain foot health and the importance of proper footwear.


At NuShoe Inspect & Correct, we understand the critical role that proper footwear plays in maintaining foot health. Wearing the right shoes can be the difference between a comfortable day and a painful one. Shoes that fit well and provide adequate support can prevent a host of foot problems, from bunions to plantar fasciitis.

Our team is dedicated to ensuring that your shoes are always in top condition. We offer a range of services, from deep cleaning to specialized treatments, to help you maintain your footwear. Discover how NuShoe Inspect & Correct can serve your footwear needs.

Proper footwear is essential not just for comfort but for your overall health. Foot issues can lead to problems in other parts of your body, including your knees, hips, and back. Therefore, investing in quality shoes and maintaining them well is crucial.
If you experience persistent foot pain or have concerns about your footwear, don’t hesitate to contact a foot health specialist. Your feet are the foundation of your body. Taking care of them ensures you can stay active and healthy.

By prioritizing proper footwear and regular maintenance, you can protect your feet and enjoy a healthier, more comfortable life. Thank you for trusting NuShoe Inspect & Correct with your footwear needs.