Pain on the outside of the feet
Pain on the outside of the feet can be from a variety of factors, but the way the feet are moving and the footwear worn can be the main or contributing factor.
Flat feet and pain on the outside of the feet
Even though the foot shifts inwards with a flat foot, it is possible to develop pain on the outside of the feet. This is because when the arch rolls inwards, the outside of the foot can push against the shoe.
Sometimes, the feet can compensate leading to excessive pressure on the outside of the foot. If there is pain from walking with a flat foot, the weight can either consciously or unconsciously shift to the outside of the foot to avoid the pain. In other cases, running or other exercise can change the way the foot is interacting with the ground. Running gait could be slightly different as there is more force when contacting the ground. Also, the initial contact could be a flat foot or the ball of the foot instead of the heel. Because of these differences, running could put more pressure on the outside of the feet instead of the inside and lead to pain on the outside of the feet.
High arched feet are more likely to develop pain on the outside of the feet. This is because the weight is usually shifted here. If the high arch is accompanied by supination (rolling outwards), this pressure on the outside of the foot is greatly increased.
Pain on the outside of the foot can develop from this pressure, or it can develop from strain. When the foot rolls outwards, the muscles and tendons running along the outside of the foot can become strained.
The way shoes are fitting can make an impact on pain on the outside of the feet.
If the shoes are too small, it causes compression on the outside of the foot. When looking at the way the shoe fits, there are a few different ways to check. First, the length of the shoe should be appropriate. If the toe is touching the end of the shoe, the length may be too small. The width of the shoe is the important consideration in regards to pain on the outside of the feet. If the width is too small, it will compress both sides of the feet. The depth, or the volume in the shoe, is the last fitting consideration. If you have to loosen the laces just to get the foot inside the shoe, it’s possible that the depth/volume is too small for the foot.
On the opposite end, a shoe that is too big can also cause pain on the outside of the feet. When the shoe is too big, the foot can slide around in the shoe. This can cause the outside of the foot to slide into the shoe or the toes will grip in a way to prevent the foot from sliding. Appropriate width and depth/volume are the most important aspects to fit properly. To ensure the width isn’t too wide, make sure there isn’t more than thumb width available on either side of the foot. If the foot feels like it’s swimming in the shoe, it’s likely that the depth/volume is too much. In this case, adding an extra insert inside the shoe will help.
Old shoes that have worn out can also cause pressure on the outside of the foot. The initial contact should be slightly to the outside of the heel to absorb shock. When shoes wear out, the heels can wear down on the outside. This angles the foot outwards and causes extra pressure to the outside of the feet. If you strike excessively on the outside of the heel (high arch/supination), the shoe can wear out faster.
An injury to the foot will also cause pain on the outside of the foot. In this case, the way the feet are moving and the shoes may not have caused the pain, but it may be impacting the recovery.
Pain on the outside of the feet can be caused from a flat foot, a high arch and the footwear worn. Even when an injury has caused the pain, it’s important to look at the feet and shoes to ensure healing is optimal!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or book an appointment.