Shoes Too Small Symptoms

Despite the fact that most of us wear shoes on a daily basis, you would be amazed by how many of us are actually wearing shoes that are too small.

While most of us think that we know what we are doing, chances are you’re just repeating what you were raised to do, and there’s actually a lot more than goes into finding the right shoe fit. 

Some shoes are less comfortable than others, but there are some tell tale signs that the shoes that you are wearing are too small. 

Determining when your shoes are too small is largely built on how they feel, so you can deduce for yourself if you have the right fit.

Just remember, the shoe size that you wear for one shoe does not necessarily mean that is your shoe size for all shoes.

Physical discomfort

A surefire indicator that the shoes that you are wearing might be too small is if you are experiencing any physical discomfort.

Physical pain is something that most people do not experience in shoes when they fit correctly.

Though some shoes will have a break in period, most shoes will not cause constant pain when you wear them.

This is most prominent in the areas around your heels and toes. 

When shoes are too small, people tend to experience pain around their toes from confining their feet to a less than ideal space, often making them feel as if their toes are being crunched or forced together.

You can sometimes experience heel pain in the event that your shoes are taking a lot of effort to put on.

This can result in the back of your foot being scraped and damaged because you are continuously forcing your feet in.

In this same way, if it feels like your toes are punching into a wall when you shove your foot in, they are likely too small.

Frequent blisters

Beyond merely experiencing the usual pain, blisters can form on your feet when your shoes do not fit the right way.

This is caused in a couple of ways. The first and most common way is brought on by your feet rubbing against the sides of your shoe in some capacity.

Though a new pair of shoes is always at risk of causing you initial pain and discomfort as you break them in, shoes that are too small will continue to do this well after the first few times that you wear them.

If you notice that every time you wear a pair of shoes you are coming away with new blisters and pain, the size might very well be the cause.

In addition to your shoes rubbing on your feet, you might also end up with blisters in my obscure places.

If you are getting blisters between your toes from your toes being crushed together or you notice that the bottom of your foot is getting blisters from friction in unusual places because they can’t move freely, this is generally a good indicator.

Related: How To Stretch The Arch Of Your Foot

You notice your foot shape beginning to change

This might sound extreme, but it is totally possible. Have you ever met someone who wore shoes that were too small for them as a kid?

Their feet tend to be shaped completely differently from a person who was allowed to continuously grow out of one pair of shoes and into the next. 

There is a distinctive curve to their feet that can generally show you how their poor little toes were forced together.

This can result in a curvature that brings the toes together in the way that the shoe held them.

wearing small shoes

While this is much easier to accomplish with small and developing feet, wearing shoes that are too small for you can make your feet seriously ratchet over time. 

You might end up with them looking oddly shaped, sitting incorrectly, or being completely destroyed by frequent blisters and abuse.

Though it isn’t impossible to come back from this, most people don’t have time to waste on spreading their toes for exercise. 

The fit is all wrong

The easiest and most blatant indicator that the shoes that you are wearing are too small is the fact that they simply do not fit right.

Though a new pair of shoes probably won’t fit exactly like your last, if you notice that your shoes are rubbing in all kinds of obscure places and don’t seem to move in a way that feels comfortable or natural, your shoes are probably too small.

While some might believe that you should just endure uncomfortable shoes as a part of life, doing this can be horrible for your feet.

Take the time to sit down and consider whether or not your new shoes need to be broken in or don’t fit at all.

Your feet should not feel cramped when you walk, and they should not be incredibly difficult to get your foot inside of. 

If you are experiencing consistent discomfort when you walk, it might be time to reevaluate and make adjustments as needed.


Finding an awesome new pair of shoes can be a victory worth celebrating, but nothing will make you less thrilled than learning that your beloved new pair of shoes are causing you consistent problems.

Taking care to make sure that your shoes fit right before you buy them, and never rely on just opting for your normal shoe size unless you’re willing to put into the effort to return them if needed.

Wearing shoes that are too small can cause problems not only for your feet, but for the rest of your body as well. 

Our feet and the way that we use them can have a significant impact on posture and other health factors.

If you make sure that your new shoes fit properly before you just give up and continue to wear them, you will likely enjoy a much better time overall and will get way more out of your purchase.