Foot muscles feel tight

Response to the enquiry:  “Foot muscles feel tight.”

I am posting the response here because this is a rather common “problem” caused by the shoes one wears. 

Cheap shoes are generally bigger in size than higher priced well made shoes.  Higher quality shoes generally fit better and feel snug when one tries them on.  However, I have found that foot cramps, tightness of the muscles of the feet, and movement of the ankles are all affected by the fit, snugness, and the width designation of the shoes such as “W”, “M”, “E”, etc. 

Cheap shoes were always too loose and uncomfortable for me.  I prefer more expensive and better quality shoes, and tend to buy several pairs of shoes of the same style, the same size, and even similar color at one purchase.   

I soon found out that shoes of the same size vary even among the same brand.   I started out with shoe size 10 1/2 m.  After a short while, my feet started to have cramps, and the main muscle of the arch of the foot became very tight.  My feet began to hurt when I walked and I found myself limping. 

So I tried size 11 m shoes.  They felt comfortable for a while but then the same foot pain and foot cramps returned.  My arch muscles tightened up and became very painful.   After trying out different brands, I finally was able to find a size that felt fit and that the size did not vary too much between brands.  The final size that I feel comfortable with is 11 E.  The brand of shoes in this size most comfortable for me is the British brand, not the Brazilian or Italian brands.  Also, size 11 E is often difficult to get. 

Shoes that have been worn for some time also tend to give me foot cramps, especially while driving.  Taking the shoes off and stooping down to bend my toes tend to loosen the foot cramps as an emergency measure.  Rolling my bare feet over a golf ball tends to help loosen tight foot muscles more effectively.

Regarding “really tight foot muscles”

Foot muscles can become “really tight” if the size of the shoes one is wearing is too narrow.  Size “M” does not fit all feet.  Size “M” is too narrow for me.  I have to wear size 11 E.  Size 10 1/2 W is uncomfortable for me.  Usually narrow shoes will make the feet muscles very tight.  One test I do when buying new shoes is to take the shoes and bend them with my hands.  If they do not bend easily or softly, I will not buy them.  When I try on a new shoe, I will shift my body weight to feel if the shoe is tight, bend my foot and walk about.  These are the usual things one does when trying on a pair of new shoes.  The important thing is to feel how tight the arch of the foot is when trying on a new shoe.  It will indicate whether the shoe is too narrow or not too narrow.  As I said, a shoe that is too narrow will make the foot muscles really tight.

 If one is not wearing shoes that are too narrow and the foot muscles feel really tight, check the calf or lower leg muscles to see if they are also tight.  If the lower leg muscles are also very tight, massage with mentholated ointment until the lower leg muscles loosen up.  Also massage the soles of the feet to loosen up the foot muscles.  Reflexology will alleviate foot muscle tightness.

Soak the feet in warm water or relatively hot water, and add some Epsom Salt to the water to soak the feet.

 

About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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