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Thousands of British women face crippling foot problems

Because they wear the wrong size shoes

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

Foot experts have revealed for the first time why women's feet suffer in their summer shoes - they wear the wrong size.

This comes as the annual "socks off season" the longed-for time every year when women can finally ditch their socks and boots for sandals and flip-flops has been delayed by the unseasonable cold snap which blighted early spring.

With temperatures finally hotting up in the UK, foot specialists are warning that women face a potential blister crisis because their feet have been wrapped up in socks and comfy boots for far longer than usual.

This combined with the little-known fact that women are wearing the wrong size shoes in the summer mean they face an agonising barrage of foot problems now the time has come to ditch their socks.

New survey results reveal that a massive 94 per cent of British women have no idea that their summer shoes should be at least half a size bigger than their winter ones.

This is to cope with hot, swollen feet and to prevent blisters, with all 94 per cent admitting they wear the same size shoes all year round.

Consultant Podiatrist Emma Supple says: "When the weather warms up, our feet swell in the heat which means we have to squeeze our feet in to our summer shoes.

"This makes skin more prone to blisters and getting generally sore and uncomfortable and is why we always recommended people buy their summer shoes half a size bigger than their winter ones. It can take weeks for feet to get summer soft and ready to be put through their paces in sandals or flip flops."

The new survey of 1,087 women aged 16+ across the UK, carried out on behalf of blister plaster experts Compeed, has also revealed that the unseasonable weather may have delayed socks off season for longer than usual, with 92 per cent yet to pack away their winter shoes.

Although the "official" start of spring is March 1, the UK suffered snow and storms from the "Beast from the East", storm Emma and the "Mini Beast from the East" through most of that month.

This delayed when women would normally get their socks off, with the survey revealing that just over a third (36 per cent) will only do so when the temperature is above 17C and more than a third (37 per cent) want to see a few hot days in a row before they shed their socks.

The survey found that almost half (45 per cent) of women aim to ditch their socks between March and May.

Many appear to have thought that socks off season was here last month (APRIL), when the nation basked in a mini heatwave when temperatures hit 29.1C in St James's Park, London, making April 19th the hottest April day for almost 70 years.

And 60 per cent of those questioned made the most of it, taking their socks off and getting their summer shoes on for the hot spell.

But as the temperature rise was so sudden, half (50 per cent) of 16-24 year olds admitted getting sore feet or blisters.

However, despite the warmer temperature, 30 per cent did not get their feet out because they knew it wouldn't last and one in five 16-24 year olds kept their winter boots on because they didn't want to risk getting blisters or sore feet.

But blisters do blight people's lives with one in three women questioned saying they suffer from blisters as soon as they wear their summer shoes or flip-flops for the first time or as soon as their feet get hot and swollen.

A surprising 32 per cent of 16- 24 year olds say they have been left unable to walk because of their painful blisters.

Ms Supple added: "We have been suffering through what has felt like a much longer winter than usual. This means it is likely women across the country will have kept their feet encased in winter socks and shoes for weeks and even months more than usual.

"Throughout winter we ignore our feet, we never look at them and we neglect them badly. So when we finally take our socks off, our feet are really prone to debilitating blisters when we wear sandals and flip-flops. When we then wear the wrong size shoes it is a recipe for a foot disaster.

"I always recommend people carry Compeed blister plasters in the credit card sections of their purse just in case, especially at this time of the year as feet emerge from the winter shadows.

"Blisters can be extremely painful and even debilitating, stopping people from carrying out their everyday lives properly. But when properly treated blisters can quickly become pain-free, allowing you to carry on."

Compeed plasters seal a blister by forming a second skin and, as they won't rub off and are sweat and waterproof, they provide instant pain relief, superior adhesion and 20 per cent faster healing compared to regular plasters.

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