We use our feet every day, but how much do you know about them?
It’s very important to look after your feet! The average person walks 115,000 miles in their lifetime (equivalent to walking around the world 5 times!) so it’s crucial that we take care of our feet and give them the TLC they deserve.
- There are 26 bones in each of your feet, which represents a quarter of all the bones in your body
- The human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons
- 90% of women have suffered a foot problem in their lifetime
Sole Bliss conducted a Foot Health Survey in March 2020¹ to discover the most common foot conditions amongst their customers and we’re here to share the results and our recommendations for the best comfortable shoes for painful feet.
- Worldwide, 23% of all adults aged 18-65 have a bunion with 36% of over 65s suffering²
- In the UK alone, 14 million people (10 million women) suffer from bunions
- 76% of bunion sufferers are embarrassed by their feet¹
A question that is always asked is 'do high heels cause bunions?' There is no scientific evidence to suggest that high heels cause bunions. In fact, the main causes of bunions are: genetics (an inherited disposition); biomechanics (the way we walk); obesity, pregnancy and certain medical conditions. Having said this, if you have a pre-existing disposition towards bunions, poorly fitting footwear will exacerbate the problem
Women often find it difficult to find shoes for bunions, but with Sole Bliss shoes, the search is over! 77%¹ of our customers suffer from bunions and 96%¹ said they would recommend Sole Bliss shoes for bunions to friends and family.
The best-selling 'Ingrid' block heel is one of the best shoes for bunion sufferers. ‘Ingrid’ is crafted using super-soft leathers, our award-winning triple-layer cushioning system, and a deep and wide almond-shape toe box to accommodate bunions and wide feet. The on-trend block heel provides support for your feet too.
For the summer months, why not try out newest arrival, 'Vienna' - a square toe sling-back shoe with a block heel!
To learn more about bunions, read our blog: Everything You Need to Know About Bunions.
Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain
- 10% of people will suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point in their lives³
- It is the most common cause of heel pain for people aged 40-60³
- 20.3% of Sole Bliss customers suffer from plantar fasciitis and heel spurs¹
Plantar fasciitis is caused by stress on the ‘fascia’, which is a thick band of tissue connecting your heel to the front of your foot. It manifests itself as a sharp stabbing pain and is often considered an ‘over-use’ injury. The most common causes are increased levels of exercising, running, walking or even standing, so it's important your shoes are cushioned to prevent your heels becoming more inflamed.
Heel spurs are a type of bone spur (or calcium deposit) which develop on the heel bone, often as a result of trauma or damage to the heel. A heel spur itself doesn’t usually cause foot pain – more often it’s the condition causing the spur which is the source of the pain. If you experience pain under the heel and/or arch of your foot, it’s most likely caused by plantar fasciitis rather than a heel spur.
Looking for heels for plantar fasciitis? Sole Bliss is your one stop shop for stylish, comfortable shoes with supportive cushioning. Our unique triple layer of underfoot cushioning is made from high-quality antibacterial memory foam:
- The base layer provides high-performance shock absorption
- The middle layer contours your foot for custom support
- The top layer offers ultimate softness and cushioning under your entire foot.
Those that suffer from heel spurs or plantar fasciitis will benefit from Sole Bliss shoes due to the super-soft cushioning technology and the supportive fit at the back o f every pair. The fit ensures that your heel is held in the right position and protected from slipping up and down, even in ‘Alessia’, the sling-back heel for plantar fasciitis!
In addition to our heels, we have an extensive collection of ballet flats. A lot of flats tend to offer minimal cushioning, however, our memory foam cushioning provides the ultimate support and protection on hard surfaces that your feet need. ‘Lizzie’ is the ideal ballet flat for women seeking pain-free, comfortable shoes!
Hammer Toes, Corns and Calluses
- Over 7 million Americans have experienced hammer toes or claw toes⁴
- Women are much more likely than men to suffer from hammer toes
- 21.4% of Sole Bliss customers suffer from hammer toes¹
Hammer, Mallet and Claw Toes, commonly referred to as Hammer Toes occur when joints of the little toes are bent upwards forming an inverted ‘V’ shape. A hammer toe exists when the middle joint is bent up; a mallet toe happens when the joint closest to the tip of your toe bends upwards; and a claw toe forms when the joint at the base of the toe is bent up. They are often accompanied by corns and calluses.
A corn is a small lump of hard skin usually found on your toes, whereas a callus is a large patch of hard skin on the sole of your foot. These foot conditions can be painful and in severe cases, open sores can develop!
Hammer toes are caused by ill-fitting footwear, trauma to your toes, foot structure or medical conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes. To keep your toes and feet comfortable, shoes for hammer toes should be deep and spacious at the front of the shoe instead of narrow, as this will cramp misshapen toes and exacerbate the problem.
Sole Bliss is your answer to shoes for hammer toes! The ‘Mercy’ heel has a rounded toe, deep and spacious toe box to accommodate difficult toe joints, and an elasticated top line for a luxuriously comfortable fit. Just like all Sole Bliss shoes, ‘Mercy’ contains the triple-layer underfoot cushioning, which is designed to protect and support your feet, especially painful soles, calluses and hammer toes.
Flat Feet and Over-Pronation
- Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 adults have some degree of flat feet⁵
- 20-30% of Americans suffer from flat feet⁶
- 17.8% of Sole Bliss customers have flat feet¹
Flat feet is a condition where your feet are flatter to the ground because the arches of your feet have dropped or collapsed. If you do suffer from this, you typically over-pronate (roll inwards) when you walk. Instead of your foot rolling evenly from heel to toe as you walk, the middle side of your foot comes down to the floor rather than remaining raised, resulting in your foot rolling inwards. This change in the placement of your foot may add further stress onto your tendons and ligaments, leading to other foot conditions such as bunions and hammer toes.
Flat feet are less able to absorb shock, which means the impact is being absorbed further up your legs provoking shin splints, which runners may experience. The spring in your step and your balance is also affected, so it is common for some people to endure further problems with their legs and back.
The main cause of flat feet is genetics. They are often present at birth and the majority of young children have flat feet until they are able to stand, when 95% of them begin to develop an arch. Further causes are: damage to your tendons or foot and ankle bone, soft tissue or joint problems like arthritis, and conditions which affect the nerves such as cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease. Obesity and pregnancy, where extra weight puts a strain on tendons, can cause flat feet too.
Here at Sole Bliss, we have the ultimate collection of heels for flat feet for women. They are extremely supportive due to the anti-pronation device found in all of our closed-back shoes, as well as our award-winning triple layer cushioning system. This ingenious small memory foam pillow counters over-pronation, keeping your foot in the correct position. People with larger feet are also more prone to suffer from flat feet but fear not! Our shoes are available from sizes 3-9 including half sizes.
Our mid heel court shoe ‘Carmen’, is the ideal fashionable heel to prevent over-pronation. This comfortable slim heel for flat feet is available in various colours and perfect for those in need of smart, versatile shoes that will take you from desk to dinner in an instant!
- 75% of Morton’s Neuroma sufferers are women⁷
- It commonly affects people between the ages of 40 and 50 but can occur at any age⁷
- 6% of Sole Bliss customers suffer from Morton’s Neuroma¹
Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition in which nerves in your foot are damaged or irritated, causing pain to the ball of your foot. It occurs when significant pressure is placed on the forefoot area during activities such as jumping, running, walking or even standing.
It is rare to have Morton’s neuroma on both feet at the same time. The condition usually affects the nerves between the third and fourth metatarsal bones, triggering pain between the third and fourth toe. It can also affect the nerve between the second and third metatarsal bones, but Morton’s neuroma rarely affects the nerves between the first and second or fourth and fifth metatarsal bones.
Those suffering from a neuroma may experience sharp pain, cramping, burning, tingling or even a lack of feeling in the area. The feeling is often compared to having a stone in your shoe.
There are a few easy ways to relieve the symptoms of a painful neuroma such as resting and massaging the affected area and using an ice pack to soothe the pain. Choosing the right shoes for Morton’s neuroma is one of the best ways to look after your painful feet. Having a deep and wide toe box as well as making sure your shoes are thick and padded with a shock-absorbing outsole - like Sole Bliss shoes - will help alleviate pressure on neuromas.
On top of the deep and wide toe box, Sole Bliss shoes afford a comfortable fit due to the triple layer cushioning technology that cradles the ball of your foot, an anti-pronation device and ergonomic arch support, which is designed to straighten the foot and decrease the pressure of Morton’s neuroma.
View our entire Wide Fit Collection to find the best accommodating fit for you. One of our favourite shoes for Morton’s neuroma sufferers is ‘Imogen’, a block heel sling-back. CombiningParisian-chic styling with a sturdy heel, supportive straps and a deep and wide toe box, this shoe provides the ultimate comfort for women suffering from Morton’s neuroma.
- 60-70% of people with Diabetes have some form of neuropathy⁸
- The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had Diabetes for 25+ years⁹
- 1.5% of Sole Bliss customers suffer from Diabetic Neuropathy¹
Diabetic neuropathy is a unique type of nerve damage in your legs or feet. Diabetics who do not control their condition may develop this nerve damage, particularly in their feet. Symptoms can be identified as a tingling sensation, foot pain or even complete loss of feeling. If a diabetic sustains any kind of laceration injury (e.g. ulcers) and leaves it untreated or unrecognised, it could potentially lead to amputation. It is important that diabetics check their feet regularly and speak to their consultant on any changes regarding their condition or feet.
Shoes for diabetic feet are often made from soft and breathable materials to keep feet ventilated, but flip-flops are not advised as they lack support. Additionally, a seam-free interior will help prevent irritating the skin which could otherwise lead to blisters. Sole Bliss shoes for bunions and other foot conditions are often well-suited to sufferers of diabetic neuropathy, especially our wide fit shoes. This is because our luxuriously comfortable shoes AND heels are suitable for wide feet as they have extra depth built-in for difficult feet.
As your feet tend to swell naturally during the day and can become a little painful, Sole Bliss shoes for diabetic feet offer durability and breathability, reducing the pain and certain symptoms of neuropathy.
For women with diabetic neuropathy and good foot health, wearing a heel is certainly an option. We recommend our favourite Mary-Jane low block heel, ‘Nina’ - a stylish yet extremely comfortable wide fit shoe! Our cushioning technology and adjustable front strap make ‘Nina’ the perfect shoe for diabetic feet.
To learn more about Diabetic Foot Health and Neuropathy, read our blog: Diabetes and Foot Problems
If you have further questions about the foot conditions discussed, please contact your local podiatrist or doctor.
Team Sole Bliss xo
- Sole Bliss Customer Survey of 1393 Respondents, March 2020.
- Source: National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes. (2009, Feb.)