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–  1 in 5 women are embarrassed about their feet

–  1 in 10 resort to covering up feet because they don’t like how they look

–  Half of women admit to putting up with uncomfortable shoes for fashion

–  As a result, 90% of UK females have foot problems

New research from The College of Podiatry has revealed that 90 per cent of women have suffered with a foot problem with one in five (20%) confessing to being embarrassed about their feet. As a result, more than one in ten (12%) women have resorted to covering up their feet in front of people or on a sunny day because they don’t like how their feet look.

The top foot problems suffered by women are blisters (55%), cracked heels (45%), verruca’s (28%), corns (24%) and ingrown toenails (20%). More than twice the number of women to men report suffering from corns, cracked heels and bunions. Despite these problems, 19 per cent of women haven’t sought help because they didn’t think their foot complaint was important.

Women are also more likely than men to put up with discomfort and pain in the name of fashion. Nearly half (43%) of women admit they have continued to wear uncomfortable shoes even though they hurt their feet – twice as many as the men in the survey. A third (36%) of women have worn shoes they knew didn’t fit them because they looked nice; with just 12 per cent of men reporting to have done the same.

When it comes to footwear, UK women have an average of 17 pairs of shoes compared to just 8 pairs for the average male. If wearing high heels, women report it takes an average of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 48 seconds for their feet to start hurting. One in five (20%) say they start to feel pain within just 10 minutes. A third of women (37 per cent) say they have walked home with no shoes on after a night out because their feet hurt and 28 per cent have danced bare foot while on a night out because of foot pain.

The younger the woman, the higher the heel worn, with 20 per cent of women aged 18-24 owning a pair of six inch high heeled shoes compared to 10 per cent of those aged 25-42 and just 3 per cent of 35-44 year olds.

In a separate survey amongst podiatrists, they report that the biggest cause of foot problems in the UK is footwear, with a lack of public awareness of common foot complaints also contributing to the problem.

Lorraine Jones, podiatrist from The College of Podiatry said: “It’s shocking how little regard we show for our feet. Feet are one of the hardest working parts of the body and in a lifetime you will walk in excess of 150,000 miles. As a result of general wear and tear, most of us will suffer with some sort of foot complaint at some point in our lives but we are seeing a lot of cases which could have been prevented – particularly amongst women.

Conditions like blisters and cracked heels may sound like minor ailments, but they can cause a lot of discomfort and embarrassment. Many people don’t seek treatment early enough which means they suffer unnecessarily and their problems get worse. We all like to look good but it’s important to take a common sense approach to footwear. High heels and flip flops are fine to wear occasionally but not all the time. For day to day wear you should opt for a well-fitting round toed shoe with a heel height of around 3cm.”

Top ten foot problems suffered by women

1.    Blisters (55%)

2.    Cracked heels (45%)

3.    Verruca’s (28%)

4.    Corns (24%)

5.    Ingrown toe nails (20%) and Athletes foot (20%)

6.    Bunions (13%)

7.    Joint problems (11%)

8.    Excessive foot odour (9%)

9.    Arthritis (8.8%)

10.  Muscular problems (8%)