My Shoes Don’t Fit: Are My Feet Getting Bigger?

My Shoes Don’t Fit: Are My Feet Getting Bigger?

Your skin changes with age. So does your eyesight, the color and texture of your hair, and your muscles, and most everything else about your body. It should come as no surprise that your feet, too, can change over time. 

At FootCare Specialist, Inc., Dr. David Kaplan and his team are dedicated to helping you keep your feet healthy and functioning. We are happy to answer your questions about your changing feet, as well as help you if you have issues such as bunions, ingrown toenails, or other foot-related problems

In this post, we discuss how and why your feet may change shape or size, particularly as you age. 

Wear and tear

Throughout your life you use your feet. They hold up your body, they move you through the world. That means they endure a great deal of wear and tear. Each of your feet is made up of two dozen or so bones, supported by various ligaments, tendons, and muscles. In younger people, these soft tissues are highly elastic, stretching and bouncing back easily.

Over time, though, the constant use of those structures works a bit like stretching a rubber band again and again thousands of times—eventually, they lose elasticity. Your tendons and ligaments become stretched and lax. 

Over tightening

The opposite of lost elasticity happens, too. Your feet may change shape because your soft tissues are too tight. This is often a problem for people who wear shoes that force the inner structures of their feet into a state of unbalance. Hammertoes and bunions are both examples of conditions that can cause an imbalance that leads to a change in shape in your foot. 


Another type of wear and tear problem is adult acquired flatfoot. It develops as your tibial tendon begins to lose elasticity. Your tibial tendon supports your arches and when it becomes more lax, your arch collapses and your feet flatten. 

Age and weight

If you are carrying a few extra pounds, there’s more weight on the structures of your feet. Between gravity and extra weight, your feet may become larger as all the supporting tissues become lax. 

The fat you need

Young people have a layer of fat on the pads of their feet that serves as a barrier between their feet and the ground. As you get older, that fatty, protective layer dissipates, which is one reason many older people have tender feet. Though tenderness is one effect of no longer having some fat on your feet, the loss of that padding can also cause a change in the size of your feet. 

If you have questions about why your feet have changed shape or size, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kaplan at FootCare Specialist, Inc. We have two locations for your convenience, and you can schedule online or by phone. 

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