MD Podiatrist Explains Why Shoe Size Changes

You’ve worn size 9 shoes for as long as you can remember. They always fit perfectly – and then one day, they just inexplicably don’t. Try as you might, you can’t cram a foot into that familiar size. First, relax. You’re not going crazy. Second, it’s natural for your feet to gradually change in length and width over time. Dan Michaels, DPM explains how this happens. Most people gain weight as they get older – and those extra pounds press down on the ligaments and tendons that support your foot.

As a result, your foot can widen or lengthen. “It adds up over time,” says Dr. Michaels. With every step you take, your body absorbs two to three times its weight due to gravity’s unrelenting pull. That takes a toll on your feet – so much so that it actually changes their shape. “The ligaments and tendons that support the arch in your foot become worn from use,” explains Dr. Michaels. “As that happens, the arch slowly collapses – and that flattening results in your foot getting a bit longer or wider.”