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Here at DB Wider Fit Shoes we know that foot health problems can be extremely debilitating, and affect your whole lifestyle and general well-being. We understand how important it is to have the appropriate footwear for your particular needs.

Disclaimer: This information is of a general nature and should not be taken as a diagnosis. All questions and concerns should be directed to your Doctor, Podiatrist or other health advisor.

Click on one of the foot health problems below to learn more.
- Arthritis
- Bunions & Hammer Toes
- Corns & Calluses
- Diabetes
- Falls Prevention
- Oedema & Lymphoedema
- Poor Circulation
- Swollen Feet
- Flat Feet
- Plantar Fasciitis

Arthritis

Strapped Caroline House Shoes

Caroline House Shoe

Arthritis can affect the joints in the feet causing pain, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. For arthritis suffers, the key consideration when choosing shoes is comfort. House shoes from Wider Fit Shoes may be the answer for you - they're as soft as a slipper, but as supportive as a shoe, and so soft and comfortable, you'll forget you have them on.

lf you have trouble finding the right style and fit of shoe, ask a qualified foot health shoe fitting professional for advice.

OSTEOARTHRITIS
Osteoarthritis frequently causes degeneration of the cartilage and formation of bony spurs at the base of the big toe. This sometimes causes bunions to develop, and wider shoes may be necessary. High-heeled and pointed shoes should be avoided, since they can put unnecessary pressure at the point of the bunion. Degeneration of the arch of the foot can be associated with spur formation on the top of the foot. This can put pressure on adjacent nerves of sensation, which can cause a feeling of burning of the foot and toes. When this discomfort occurs, patients should avoid tying the shoe tightly or wear a shoe that does not rub or cause pressure at the point of the spur.

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
Easy Access Opening Shoe

Rory Easy Access Shoe

Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of the joints at the ball of the foot, which loosens their ligaments and can cause the bone to push against the skin of the bottom of the foot. This can lead to tender calluses and ulcerations at the ball of the foot which may even require surgical repair. Further rheumatoid deformity can cause abrasion of the tops of the toes.

Wide fitting or shoes with deeper toe boxes can be extremely comfortable for people with these conditions. Strap fastenings may make it easier to fasten the shoes. Correctly fitting and comfortable shoes can provide welcome relief and often improved foot function.

See More:
- Shop Women's Shoes Suitable for Arthritis
- Shop Men's Shoes Suitable for Arthritis
- The Best Shoes For Arthritis This Spring

BUNIONS & HAMMER TOES

What are Bunions & Hammer Toes?
A bunion is a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe that causes an enlargement of the bone or tissue, producing an abnormal lump on the side of the foot. The big toe is pushed inwards towards the other toes and the shape of the foot is therefore changed and swelling, pain or discomfort can result. A hammer toe or contracted toe, is a deformity of a joint in the second, third, or fourth toe, causing the toe to be permanently bent at the middle joint. The toe can become bulbous, where it may look to resemble a hammer. Initially, hammer toes are flexible and can be corrected with simple measures but, if left untreated, they can become rigid and may require surgery.

Why do we get Bunions & Hammer Toes?
The occurrence of bunions and hammer toes is more common in people who have very flexible joints and these problems are therefore, often inherited. Sufferers may have inherited a tendency to develop hammer toes because their feet are slightly unstable - perhaps they are flat-footed or have high arches. Arthritis or diabetes may contribute to the onslaught of hammer toes and underlying health conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis which can also be responsible for the development of bunions.

Injury to the feet caused by wearing poorly fitting shoes can also contribute to cases of bunions and hammer toes. Shoes that are too narrow toward the front of the shoe push the smaller toes into a flexed, or bent position. The toes rub against the shoe, leading to the formation of corns and calluses, which further aggravate the conditions. A higher heel also forces the foot down and squashes the toes against the shoe, increasing the pressure and the bend in the toe. Eventually, the toe muscles become unable to straighten out, even when they are not being confined by shoes.How can well fitted footwear help?

Shade Boot For Bunions

Shade Ankle Boot

One of the best ways of reducing your chances of developing bunions or hammer toes is to wear shoes that fit you perfectly. This means being fitted for footwear which is not only the right size for you, but also the correct width fitting and the best style for your particular foot condition. Wearing shoes that are too tight and do not fit properly is likely to make an existing bunion or hammer toe worse.

It's best to avoid wearing shoes with pointy toes or heels that are too high. Your shoes should be wide enough for your toes not to be forced together and there should be enough room to allow your toes to move freely, so ladies please pay particular attention to to the shoes you buy. Shoes made from soft leather or a yielding material which stretches, are invariably a good choice. Look for shoes with a wide and deep toe-box for optimal comfort and steer clear of restricted fastenings, such as metal buckles or tight straps.

See More:
- Shop Women's Shoes Suitable for Bunions
- Shop Men's Shoes Suitable for Bunions
- Shop Women's Shoes Suitable for Hammer Toes
- Shop Men's Shoes Suitable for Hammer Toes
- The Right Shoes For Bunions & Hammer Toes

CORNS & CALLUSES

A corn is a build-up of hard skin near a bony area of a toe or between toes. Corns may be caused by pressure from shoes that rub against the toes or cause friction between them. After you have a bath or shower, while your skin is still soft, pumice use a stone or an emery board to smooth and gently remove the build-up of tissue. Move the emery board or pumice stone in one direction only. You can also use cushioned or medicated pads to remove corns. If in doubt, see a Chiropodist.

A callus is a build-up of hard skin, usually on the underside of the foot. Calluses are caused by an uneven distribution of weight, generally on the bottom of the forefoot or heel. They can also be caused by improperly fitting shoes or a skin abnormality. It's normal to have some calluses on the soles of your feet. After your bath or shower, use a pumice stone to gently remove the build-up of tissue. You can also use cushioned pads and in-soles. Your doctor may prescribe treatments to soften the callus, or see a Chiropodist.

To avoid developing corns or calluses, ensure you wear correctly fitting shoes which are wide enough and don't rub your feet. Check your width fitting with our size guide.

Jazz Shoe for Corns

Jazz Lace Up Shoe

The features built into many of our styles make our shoes more comfortable for corns and calluses.

Many of our shoes are made using a process of direct injection moulding polyurethane to the upper. This way of manufacture traps thousands of tiny air bubbles within the sole structure (just like a cork) acting as shock absorbers, making the shoes with this sole extremely comfortable to wear all day. Look for shoes with this logo.

Air Bubble Technology - Many of the insoles within our shoes are leather with polyurethane foam giving them similar comfort properties as the soles described above.

There are few internal seams used in the manufacture of our shoes and where there are seams they are well away from the toe box ensuring a smooth internal space for your fore foot.

Diabetes

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a patient's blood sugar level to become too high. In the UK, diabetes affects approximately 2.9 million people. There are also thought to be around 850,000 sufferers with undiagnosed diabetes. There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:

- Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when no insulin is produced at all, because the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. Type 1 affects around 10% of all adults with diabetes and is treated with daily insulin injections.

- Type 2 diabetes is when the body either does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin it produces does not work as well as it should (insulin resistance). Usually occurring in people over the age of 40, this type of diabetes is predominantly treated with lifestyle changes such as following a healthy balanced diet, increasing physical activity and losing weight when necessary.

- Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) can occur during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. This type of diabetes usually occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin for the body's needs.

How does Diabetes affect your feet?
Those who suffer from diabetes are at higher risk of peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which drastically reduces the blood flow through your arteries and can affect the arteries which supply blood to the legs. Diabetes patients are therefore more likely to suffer from foot-related problems.

Neuropathy may also be a issue for diabetes sufferers. Neuropathy relates to the damage caused to the peripheral nerves and can affect sensory, motor or autonomic nerves and, at worst, may affect all three.

In turn, any of these high risk factors can lead to further foot problems including: arched foot, clawing of toes and Charcot foot.

How can wide fitting footwear help?

Two Different Styles for Diabetes

Duck and Reef - Styles for Diabetes

Diabetes really can have an impact on your foot health, therefore, doing everything you can to look after your feet should be a number one priority. Poor circulation, numbness and the reduction of sensation in the feet are just some of the conditions that diabetes causes.

The key to good foot health is determining how to spot the signs of foot related-diabetes problems and ensuring that you seek medical advice straight away. If left untreated, these foot problems can lead to foot ulcers and potentially, in the worst case scenario, the need for amputation.

Making sure that you have the correct fitting footwear is very important for people who suffer from diabetes because poor fitting shoes, whether too loose or too tight, can cause rubbing. Not only will this be very painful for diabetes sufferers, but chaffing could lead to further complications.

Our shoes have been designed to be internally, as smooth as possible. With few internal seams and styles with seam-free toe boxes, our shoes are useful for those people suffering from diabetes-related foot problems, as they are available in different widths and depths, ensuring a comfortable fit. Where seams do exist, we have tried to place them in locations designed to reduce the possibility of rubbing. Wider Fit Shoes really do want you to have the perfect fit and the most comfortable shoes in order to reduce any pain that you may be suffering.

See More:
- Shop Women's Shoes Suitable for Diabetes
- Shop Men's Shoes Suitable for Diabetes
- Why The Right Footwear Is So Important For Diabetes Sufferers
- The Best Shoes For Diabetes This Spring

Falls Prevention

According to the University Hospitals of Leicester, 24,000 over-65s in the UK fall over at home every year because of poorly fitting footwear. The majority of these falls are caused by wearing 'sloppy' slippers - poorly structured and ill-fitting slippers. Falls in older people can be catastrophic, statistics reveal. In fact, falls are the number one cause of injury and injury-related deaths in people over the age of 65. Accidents can happen so easily, but many falls can be avoided by wearing correctly fitted, supportive footwear.

According to an article on 'Optimizing footwear for older people at risk of falls', researchers found that:
Open Quotations footwear influences balance and the subsequent risk of slips, trips, and falls by altering somatosensory feedback to the foot and ankle and modifying frictional conditions at the shoe/floor interface. Walking indoors barefoot or in socks and walking indoors or outdoors in high-heel shoes have been shown to increase the risk of falls in older people. Other footwear characteristics such as heel collar height, sole hardness, and tread and heel geometry also influence measures of balance and gait. Because many older people wear suboptimal shoes, maximizing safe shoe use may offer an effective fall prevention strategy. Based on findings of a systematic literature review, older people should wear shoes with low heels and firm slip-resistant soles both inside and outside the home Close Quotation. J Rehabil Res Dev.

Senior researcher Marian T. Hannan, D.Sc., M.P.H., co-director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center at the Institute for Aging Research notes that Open Quotations Our findings show that older people going barefoot, wearing only socks, or wearing slippers may be at considerably increased risk of falls in their homes. Therefore, older people should wear shoes at home whenever possible to minimize their risk of falling. Close Quotation

Around the home, people may not wish to wear shoes all day, though shoes can be generally more supportive. Unfortunately, they often prefer the convenience and comfort of slippers, which can have little or no support.

Someone wearing house shoes

Savannah House Shoes

House shoes from Wider Fit Shoes have been designed to give the best of both worlds - they look like a slipper but have features that make them far more supportive, like a shoe.

Our house shoes have hard wearing, stable outer soles that can be worn inside or outside. The wide, flat sole provides a stable base for walking. The uppers have a stiffener built into the back panel that supports and cradles the heel safely and comfortably. The touch fastening straps allow for easy access, yet can be adjusted simply and quickly to ensure a perfect fit and are available in variable fittings from 2V to 6V for both ladies and men. All of our house shoes have removable insoles for the insertion of orthotics.

They're as soft as a slipper, but as supportive as a shoe. They're so comfortable, you'll forget you have them on. No wonder they are recommended so warmly by foot health professionals.

See More:
- Shop Supportive Slippers For Women
- Shop Supportive Slippers For Men
- Shop Supportive Canvas Shoes For Women
- Shop Supportive Canvas Shoes For Men
- The Real Cost Of A Fall And How To Prevent It

Oedema and Lymphoedema

Oedema, also known as dropsy, is the medical term for fluid retention in the body. The build-up of fluid causes affected tissues to become swollen. The swelling can occur in one particular part of the body - for example, as the result of an injury - or it can be more general. Oedema can occur anywhere in the body but it's most common in the feet and ankles, where it is known as peripheral oedema.

Lymphedema is a common cause of fluid build-up in the body's tissues. It occurs when the lymphatic system is damaged or disrupted. Lymphedema can occur in any part of the body, but is most likely to affect an arm or a leg. The lymphatic system is a series of glands (lymph nodes) around the body connected by a network of vessels similar to blood vessels. Fluid surrounding body tissues usually drains into nearby lymph vessels so it can be transported away and back into the blood. However, when the fluid cannot drain away in a normal way, the lymphatic system becomes overloaded and fluid builds up between the tissues and causes swelling.

Why do we get Oedema or Lymphoedema?
Oedema is often the result of an underlying condition. The possible causes are numerous, but can include arthritis, diabetes, heart failure, thyroid disease, liver or kidney disease, lung disease and various medications. Additionally, when oedema occurs in the legs, it may be caused by thrombophlebitis, a blood clot, varicose veins or the presence of a cyst.

There are two main types of lymphedema: Primary lymphedema, which develops at birth or shortly after puberty and is associated with faulty genes and Secondary lymphedema, which is caused by damage to the lymphatic system as a result of an infection, injury or cancer. Secondary lymphedema may develop as a side effect of cancer treatment. Surgery is often necessary to remove lymph glands to prevent a cancer from spreading which can damage the lymphatic system. Both conditions can also be exacerbated by being immobile for long periods of time.

Two Shoes Suitable for Oedema

Pacific and Woodpecker - Suitable for Oedema and Lymphoedema

How can extra wide fitting shoes help?
Since both conditions can result in stiff joints, aching and tender limbs and swollen feet, legs and ankles, the selection of appropriate footwear is key. Moderate exercise can help both of these conditions, so making sure that shoes are the correct fit, style and size for your feet is very important. It is better to wear a shoe which gently covers the foot, offering an even compression over the top of the foot, therefore preventing swelling down into the foot. Look for shoes and house shoes that offer easy access. Stretchy shoes that are wide-fitting can be a perfect solution, especially when they are seam-free. Similarly, wide-fitting styles that have easy, soft touch fastenings or lace ups can offer comfort and stability to the oedema sufferer. It is better to not wear a low cut 'court' style shoe with oedema.

We offer some of the widest, deepest fitting footwear available with many styles available in 6E, 6V or 8E fittings. We are not aware of any other main stream manufacturer making any shoes in a fitting as wide and deep as our 8E fitting.

See More:
- Shop Women's Shoes Suitable for Oedema & Lymphoedema
- Shop Men's Shoes Suitable for Oedema & Lymphoedema
- Oedema & Lymphoedema Uncovered

Poor Circulation

Poor circulation can result when blood flow becomes restricted to certain parts of the body. Often people notice it at the extremities of the body such as the toes or fingers, however, it can affect the entire body and men, women and children can all suffer from it. In less serious situations, this can simply create mild discomfort. However, if the cause is more serious, poor circulation can badly affect mobility and disrupt day-to-day living. The feet are especially prone to circulation issues, as blood tends to pool in the feet due to gravity.

Symptoms of poor circulation can include cold or numb feet or hands, hair loss on feet or legs, a blur pallor to the skin of legs, brittle toe nails and dry and cracked skin, particularly of the feet. The slow healing of wounds or sores can also be a major indication of a sluggish circulation.

Why do we get poor circulation?
There are numerous reasons for poor circulation. Here are just a few:

Atherosclerosis can cause poor blood circulation when the veins and arteries become clogged with cholesterol plaque, making them more fragile and less effective. Inadequate nutrition can contribute to poor circulation where the body lacks the essential vitamins, minerals and elements to enable robust blood flow. Lack of movement or lack of exercise can cause life-threatening blood clots (or DVTs), especially in individuals who smoke, are pregnant or take certain medications. Exercise helps circulation as it increases your blood flow, gets the heart pumping blood around your body faster and helps flush the blood through your arteries.

Wearing tight-fitting clothing, such as control-top pantyhose can be detrimental to blood circulation in the legs and feet as they can constrict the blood flow to the important organs in the pelvic region. Inhaling toxic smoke can also constrict blood flow to the heart and brain. Some medical conditions can also cause poor blood circulation. These include blood clots, inflammation of blood vessels, injury and diabetes.

How can footwear help?
Tight-fitting shoes can reduce blood circulation to your feet, just as tying string around your finger can impact circulation. Ill-fitting shoes can also cause poor circulation. When your shoes don't properly fit, especially around your toes, circulation can be impeded as your toes become clenched together against the inside of the shoe. This can also result in blisters and other foot pain, in addition to a decrease in circulation.

Make sure you have properly fitting walking shoes and indoor shoes too, that are comfortable, wide enough, deep enough and provide a lot of support, especially around the ankle. Tell your doctor about concerns related to poor foot circulation, as this can be an early warning sign of diabetes or peripheral artery disease.

Swollen Feet

Swollen feet can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, some of which are localised and affect only the feet and ankles, whilst others are systemic, affecting the whole body as with kidney or liver failure.

Swelling is caused by a build up of fluids in the tissues of the feet. The swelling of feet may be temporary and can be as a result of a diet high in salt and carbohydrates or the extensive use of laxatives, diuretics or other medication. Some people experience swollen feet only during the summer months - this can be caused if the person has been walking or standing for long periods in high temperatures.

What can you do about swollen feet?
It is imperative to visit your doctor if you have persistent foot swelling or in addition, if you have been experiencing problems breathing, or with weight gain or skin lesions. Whatever the cause, what is certain is that having swollen feet can adversely affect your mobility and your comfort. Having correctly fitting footwear is key to achieving optimal comfort.

Why pick wider fit shoes for swollen feet?
At Wider Fit Shoes we have long been regarded as the experts in wider fitting shoes for wide and swollen feet for ladies and men. We offer width fittings of EE, 4E, 6E, 8E and variable fit, and are thus able to offer the most comprehensive range of wide fitting footwear in the U.K.

Two Shoes for Swollen Feet

Riley and Donald - Suitable for Swollen Feet

Many of our shoes have padded ankle support, lightweight soles, smooth internal seams, and deep toe boxes for extra comfort. Our shoes look good, fit in with our customers' lifestyles and provide value for money. We offer the most comfortable solutions available for wide or swollen feet.

See More:
- Shop Women's Shoes Suitable for Swollen Feet
- Shop Men's Shoes Suitable for Swollen Feet

Flat Feet

According to one study, up to 30% of people could have fallen arches (often otherwise known as flat feet or “over pronation”), which would equate to around 20m people in the UK alone!

Typically, feet have an arch in the instep, leaving that classic footprint shape in the sand or wet on a dry floor. Having flat feet means that the sole of your foot doesn’t arch. Instead, the entire sole touches the ground when you stand.

Flat feet can cause a person’s feet to roll inwards (or pronate) as they walk or stand, due to the arch having dropped and therefore not offering the support to maintain a stable footprint.

Many people have no problems from flat feet and need take no corrective action but others find it can cause pain and affects the way they walk or stand, which can in turn lead to undue stress and injuries to other parts of the body, particularly ankles, knees and hips.

Showing a normal arched foot Showing a flat foot example

What are the best shoes for flat feet?
As specialists in footwear for wide, deep and problem feet our mission is to offer shoes which give the freedom to be able to walk in complete comfort and the joy of living your life to the full without thinking about your feet. So naturally, our shoes are designed with foot conditions such as flat feet in mind and come with many of the features outlined above as standard.

The best shoes for flat feet offer:
- Raised arch support to take pressure off the middle of your foot
- Enough width to accommodate feet that “spread”
- Support across the sole and heel
- Adjustable fastenings that can be set securely enough to prevent movement of the foot within the shoe
- A slightly raised heel

See More:
- Best Wider Fitting Shoes for Flat Feet

Plantar Fasciitis

Anyone who has suffered plantar fasciitis will know that it is not to be taken lightly, so the right footwear can be of paramount importance to making a full recovery.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissue along the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes that supports the arch of the foot and absorbs shock when walking.

Illustration of foot with pain highlightedPlantar fasciitis generally causes a “stabbing pain” in the bottom of the foot near to the heel. While some people may experience only mild pain or dull throbbing, for some people it can be excruciating and debilitating.

Although the pain often is worst within the first steps of the day or after long periods of inactivity, such as sitting, but may settle during the day or with exercise, it can also be trigged by long periods of standing activity or time on your feet.

What are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis?
Of course, the right footwear is very important in avoiding or overcoming plantar fasciitis.

To avoid undue stress on the tissue it is important that your footwear offers good support and stability that has good cushioning underfoot, doesn’t have a high heel and, extremely importantly, that they fit well.

So the best shoes for plantar fasciitis:
- Offer the right support and stability
- Have soft materials for cushioning and flexibility
- Have plenty of room for toes to flex, enabling you to stretch the plantar fascia
- Are adjustable enough to fit well
- Have good arch support
- Are flat: no high heels

See More:
- Best Wider Fitting Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

With our expertise in this area, we have been able to significantly improve the mobility and foot comfort of many customers, even with very severe conditions. If you would like our help, please call our experienced Customer Service Team on 01933 311077 (Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm) or email enquiry@widerfitshoes.co.uk who will be happy to assist you.

Disclaimer: This information is of a general nature and should not be taken as a diagnosis. All questions and concerns should be directed to your Doctor, Podiatrist or other health advisor.

Whilst we may be able to help with suitable footwear we know that the care of your feet is important to your health. Why not check out our Foot Health Partner page to locate someone who may be able to help you!