Why Do Women’s Feet Get Bigger As They Age?

By Walkrite Foot Clinic February 23, 2018

Most women would love to be able to wear the same shoe size throughout their adult life. No woman wants her feet to get bigger but, like it or not, all women will eventually need to buy larger shoe sizes as they grow older. It’s an inevitable fact of life that women’s feet grow with age and time.

The progression of time and age cause your feet to flatten out slowly. Your feet get wider, longer, and more splayed. Read on to learn about other factors that cause women’s feet to grow.

  • Weight gain. You don’t just gain extra weight in our tummies and hips. The extra fat that causes weight gain occurs throughout the body, including your feet. The added fat in your feet makes them bigger. Water weight causes growth and the need for larger shoe sizes as well.


  • Pregnancy The hormones of pregnancy that cause the birth canal to relax also relax the ligaments in the rest of a pregnant woman’s body, including the feet. Additionally, the extra weight a woman gains in pregnancy places additional stress on her feet, causing them to get flatter, longer, and wider.


  • Foot conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities are caused by heredity and the kind and quality of shoes you wear throughout your life.The better your footwear, the smaller the chances that you will develop foot deformities. Don’t pinch pennies when it comes to your footwear. Cheap footwear can cause more problems for your feet.


  • Time and gravity. Our feet get longer and wider because our ligaments and tendons continue to relax over time and with gravity.

You can’t stop your feet from growing completely, but there are measures you can take to slow the progression of foot growth.

Use arch supports in your shoes to slow down the flattening of your feet. Regular use of arch supports can slow the splaying and flattening of feet that naturally occurs. You should also wear arch supports in casual shoes that you wear at home, such as sandals and slippers. This is even more important if the floors in your home are hard. You should also wear sturdy shoes that offer support and don’t flex easily.

Lose the excess weight you are carrying. It puts more stress and pressure on your feet and causes further lengthening and widening. Losing some weight will ease that pressure and stress.

Your body will continue to change over time, and your feet will change as well. Because of gravity, as you walk and put pressure on your feet, your body absorbs up to three times its weight in pressure and force. This is compounded by the changes that occur with aging, hereditary, hormones, and deformities. Wearing arch support helps to slow the progression of growth, splaying, and flattening. However, arch support cannot stop it completely. All women will require larger shoes as they age, but the use of arch support, loss of excess weight, and wearing good quality shoes will slow the growth process.

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