Finding The Correctly Fitted Footwear Is Vital
Footwear has been used by humans to protect feet for millennia with socially exclusive population adopting stylish and fashionable footwear with expensive materials. Although originally worn as a protective covering for the foot, modern footwear is designed to fulfil a range of purposes, the accomplishment of which is judged by three criteria: form, function and fit. Form relates to the aesthetic appeal of footwear, while function relates to the ability of footwear to accomplish its intended purpose, eg. to protect the feet of individuals who undertake activities that may present a risk of injury. Finally, fit pertains to how footwear can accommodate the morphology and pathology of the foot.
Footwear fitting is acknowledged as being vitally important as in most cases fit governs function. This means that footwear cannot fulfil its intended purpose if it does not fit the foot correctly. Furthermore, it has been suggested that incorrectly fitted footwear is a major contributor to the development of structural foot disorders, such as hallux valgus and lesser toe deformity, as well as skin lesions, such as corns and calluses
Correct footwear fitting is an inherently complex undertaking for two main reasons.
The footwear industry is currently unable to design and manufacture footwear that can conform to the three-dimensional morphology of all feet in the population. This is because foot morphology is highly variable between individuals, and there is limited variety in the shape of lasts used to construct footwear.
Footwear selection is not purely based on quantitative measurements of footwear shape and size, but may be influenced by qualitative factors. It is therefore probable that a substantial proportion of the population are wearing incorrectly fitted footwear. With this in mind, the aim of this review is to determine the prevalence of incorrectly fitted footwear and to examine the association between incorrectly fitted footwear, foot pain and foot disorders.
Buldt, A.K., Menz, H.B. Incorrectly fitted footwear, foot pain and foot disorders: a systematic search and narrative review of the literature. J Foot Ankle Res 11, 43 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13047-018-0284-z