Why Do Women’s Feet Get Bigger As They Age?

There are many reasons why women’s feet get wider as they age. Some of the reasons include weight gain and an aging population. We’ve probably all noticed that people are generally bigger today than years ago. Weight gain adds more pressure on your feet as you stand or walk which makes the joints and ligaments work harder to retain the structure of your feet. The more pressure the feet have to put up with, the more your feet will stretch or spread out. As feet age, they lose fat padding and grow wider and longer, resulting in lower arches and problems like corns and calluses. Structural changes can affect balance and gait. With time, your feet will stop going back to their normal shape, and their size in due course will become wider and longer. As we get older the ligaments and soft tissue start to grow weaker and lose elasticity, causing the feet to grow wider and flatten.

Good fitting shoes with enough cushioning and support can help with this. As the foot becomes wider, longer and less padded, the plantar fascia tendon which runs along the length of the sole and makes up the arch becomes stretched; this contributes to the lowering of the arch. A lower arch can lead to bunions forming. Women are inclined to have wider feet due to pronation. Pronation is when the arch area in the inside of the foot, rolls inwards towards the ground. Women tend to have wider hips which make pronation more common in women than men. Legs are made to turn inwards at the knees, which can lead to pronation at the feet. If a woman is overpronated it will look as if she has flat feet. Pronated feet are wider than unpronated feet thus making them look bigger. Another reason when women complain about having wider feet is during pregnancy.

During this time, the body releases hormones which relax the soft tissue structures like the ligaments. This hormonal change along with the natural weight gain during pregnancy is known to increase a woman’s shoe size. Women tend to spend a lot of time walking and standing on hard surfaces, which can lead to foot deformities. Foot deformities such as hammertoes and bunions are caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes more often than not. Feet can change in size as we get older or heavier. Health problems like diabetes, circulation problems and heart disease can cause swollen ankles and feet, making them look bigger. Sales figures show that the average woman’s shoe size has gone up from a 5 in the past five years. This means that demand for the bigger sizes, like the nines, tens and elevens is also going up. This increase has been linked to the obesity epidemic.

Medical experts believe that consuming high-density foods like pizza and processed foods during puberty stimulates the growth hormone. This not only then increases waist size, it also affects other parts of the body such as the feet. What causes …