My Shoes Don't Fit. Are My Feet Changing?

My Shoes Don't Fit. Are My Feet Changing?

Whether you’re a shoe addict or you just need them to get you from point A to point B, there are few things more frustrating than slipping on your favorite pair of sneakers and realizing that they don’t fit.

However, the truth is that the shape and size of your feet can and often will change over time. 

Here, our expert podiatrists Jarna Rathod-Bhatt, DPM, and Rahul Bhatt, DPM, at Apple Podiatry Group in Arlington, Irving, Fort Worth, and Flower Mound, Texas, take a closer look at this bizarre phenomenon, so you can better understand what’s happening to your feet. 

Your feet are stretching

One of the primary culprits of foot changes is time. As you get older, your feet experience inevitable wear-and-tear. Each of your feet consists of two dozen or so bones that are supported by various ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When you were younger, the soft tissues in your feet were highly elastic, stretching and bouncing back easily with use.

As the years go on, however, the elasticity in those soft tissues constantly wears down, stretching out but never returning to their original position. 

This is similar to a sock that’s lost its elasticity because of constant wear and washing. Eventually, those tiny elastic bands weaken and snap, leaving the sock limp and unable to retain its shape. That same process can and does happen in the tendons and ligaments in your feet.

Your feet are flattening out

Believe it or not, adult-acquired flatfoot is fairly common. It typically stems from wear-and-tear in your supporting tendons—namely your posterior tibial tendon. This tendon supports your arches, and when it malfunctions because of stress, your arch collapses and your feet flatten.

Your weight is causing changes

Age, diet changes, health conditions — these are all reasons you might be carrying around a little more weight than usual. In addition to a wide range of health problems, extra weight can cause structural changes in your feet as their burden increases. 

Gravity combined with excess force from your body weight causes your feet to become larger as your support tissues become more lax.

Your feet are tightening

It may sound strange, but your feet can also change shape because of excessive tightness in your supporting ligaments and tendons. This is especially true if you wear ill-fitting or worn-out shoes that throw the inner structures of your feet off balance. 

Inadequate footwear can also cause other problems, such as hammertoes and bunions, which develop because of imbalances in your tendons and ligaments that cause your feet to change shape.

You’ve lost some fat

Everyone wants to lose fat, right? While it might be beneficial to lose the spare tire around your midsection, your feet actually thrive when there’s a layer of fat to protect them. 

When you were younger, the pads of your feet had a layer of fat that acted as a barrier between the ground and your foot’s inner structures. As you age, this fat dissipates, which is why many older people complain of tender feet. In addition to foot tenderness and pain, the loss of the extra padding can also change the size of your feet.

Troubled by foot changes? Dealing with debilitating foot pain? We want to talk with you. Call or click to schedule an appointment at our office most convenient to you today.

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