What 'breaking in' your shoes is actually doing to your feet

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Everyone has a Cinderella's-evil-step-sister-moment where you try and squeeze your not-so-dainty feet into a dainty pair of glass slippers (or super cute stilettos, whatever). You try to convince yourself that an almost fit is a good enough reason to purchase the shoes and take them home -- you'll just break them in, right?

Actually, wrong.

'Breaking in' your shoes in reality doesn't mean letting your shoes get used to the shape of your foot -- in fact it's quite the opposite: Your feet are going to be the ones working to adjust size and shape.

"Any time you experience pain, it's your body's way of telling you there's something wrong," Dr. Jackie Sutera told WhoWhatWear. "Ignoring foot pain can lead to injury and chronic problems also affecting ankles, knees, hips, back, and the way you walk."



Even if your feet get used to the kind of hobble-inducing pain a too-small shoe can invite, this isn't a good sign -- it just means that your foot has adapted to the discomfort, which means that it's beginning to adjust to a shape and size that isn't natural for it.

So basically, if you're feeling initial pain from a shoe, it's best to leave the pair in the store. However, if a shoe that once fit you like a glove is starting to make your feet ache, this is another story and might be able to be remedied with the proper foot care.

If the shoe fits, wear it. And if it doesn't? Well, just don't!

Women aren't the only ones who have felt the wrath of uncomfortable shoes:
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