The following information contains advice about footwear. 

To prevent and treat foot problems, well-fitting footwear is important. Wearing ill-fitting shoes can cause foot problems such as corns and ingrowing toenails. 

Wearing shoes that do not fit can permanently change the shape of bones, joints and nails. 

What to look for:

  • shoes with a fastening - this can be a lace, velcro or buckle  
  • shoes with a low heel - no higher than 2.5cm (1 inch) 
  • shoes with a good heel cup. This prevents the heel slipping up and down 
  • shoes with a toe box that is deep, wide and long. Toes should have room to wiggle. The toe box should follow the shape of the foot 
  • wear socks or stockings that fit. Tight hosiery can cause foot problems 
  • shoes should be preferably made of leather or other breathable material 
  • avoid wearing slip-on shoes 
  • avoid wearing plastic or canvas shoes 
  • avoiding thin, over flexible soles is best for older feet 
  • if slippers are worn they should be the correct size and with a velcro strap. Do not wear ‘sloppy' slippers
  • trainers can be beneficial for some types of feet however need to be the correct size and fitted properly 


  • feet should be measured whilst standing. Fee  do not stay the same size or shape as you get older
  • a well fitting shoe is an important part of your treatment 
  • find a shoe which matches the shape of your foot. Stand on a piece of paper and draw round your foot, place shoe on top. This will indicate whether the shoe will fit 
  • if poorly fitting shoes are worn, it may be difficult to improve your foot problem even when Podiatry treatment is carried out 
  • continued Podiatry treatments may NOT be provided if unsuitable footwear continues to be worn 

Please ask the Podiatrist for advice about your footwear, to improve your foot health.  

The Department of Health requires that all Podiatrists (Chiropodists) who work for the National Health Service are registered with the Health Professionals Council (HCPC). Podiatrists working for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust have all passed a three year training course leading to a Diploma or Degree. 

This information is intended to provide advice to patients. If you have any difficulty with this information or advice please seek medical advice. 

To access more information about this resource and the service related to it, you can review the related resources below.

Basic footcare
This information contains advice about how to look after your feet.
Preparing for nail surgery
The information below explains what to expect during and after nail surgery and is intended for nail surgery patients and their carers.
Domiciliary visits for Podiatry
The Podiatry service offers a home visiting service (Domiciliary) following a GP referral to see patients at home only when there are specific reasons why they cannot access a clinic.

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