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Huge News Why Our Feet Just Keep Getting Bigger

Large foot stomping over a fake city

Believe it or not, Bigfoot really does exist: It’s pretty much everyone in the human race these days, as the average foot size has gone up a whopping two sizes in the past four decades. Retailers such as Nordstrom, Cole Haan and Stuart Weitzman have all reported increased plus-size shoe sales, and several studies have shown that the average shoe size for women now sits just under a size 9, whereas it was at a size 7 just 20 years ago.


But why the astonishing increase in foot size? Is it something in the water? Are mutant big-footed bugs biting us and morphing us into human skis, kind of like in the case of Spiderman getting arachnid attributes from a spider bite? That would be a much simpler explanation, because as it turns out, experts can’t agree on what is causing human feet to expand, though obesity seems to be the leading cause for what may be to blame for the size of our tootsies snowballing out of control. 

Scientists say that as human beings continue to expand in body size, our feet have to amp up in size, as well. Americans have gotten taller and heavier in the past century, and podiatrists and chiropodists agree that our feet have flattened and lengthened (called “splaying”) to keep up with the extra weight and demand. Some experts go so far as to suggest that hormones in our food play a part in our ever-increasing feet size, but the hormone theory is still under debate. 

What’s not under debate is that many people are in denial about their true foot size and decide to cram their tootsies into tiny, narrow stilettos and other types of footwear not meant for their larger feet. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than one third of men and over half of women admit to buying shoes that don’t fit properly — a fashion choice that often leads to corns, calluses and foot deformities like bunions and hammertoes

So what’s a big-footed person to do? For starters, it’s important that every person measure his or her feet properly to ensure they’re wearing the proper shoe size. And fortunately, as the demand for larger shoe sizes increases, more stylish plus-size shoe sizes are becoming available — and the stigma that comes along with big feet (including names like clodhopper, flippers, clowns’ feet and more) is diminishing. Small steps for a big problem, but at least we don’t have to worry about mutant bugs with big feet. Yet. 

Kambra Clifford

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Articles having medical content shall serve exclusively for the purpose of general information. Such articles are not suitable for any (self-) diagnosis and treatment of individual illnesses and medical indications. In particular, they cannot substitute for the examination, advice, or treatment by a licensed physician or pharmacist. No replies to any individual questions shall be effected through the articles.