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  • Writer's pictureTania Cucciniello

Wearing Tight Clothes and Shoes Affects the Body

Did you know that wearing tight clothes and tight shoes can affect your body? Besides the discomfort of wearing something too small, tight clothes or shoes can wreak havoc on your posture.

There are many other issues that follow that as well. They may cut circulation, cause swelling and redness, and create an entire list of symptoms, which can progress to more serious health problems.

Let’s look at the most common culprits.

Tight Clothes

Here are the most common items that are worn too tight and how they affect the body:

  • Belts: belts that are too tight can cause intra-abdominal pressure. Digestive issues may arise such as acid reflux and heartburn because stomach acid is forced to rise.

  • Skinny jeans: skinny jeans often result in constricting muscles, joints, and vertebrae’s, which then causes nerve compression. Tight-fitting pants also causes gait/walking issues and hip imbalances.

  • Bras: bras, especially ones with underwire, are painful for women. A bra that digs in leads to back pain, shoulder pain, chaffing, other skin irritations, tender breasts, restricts lymphatic flow, and can also constrict breathing properly from the diaphragm. No wonder when women finally take off their bras at the end of the day, we all breathe a sigh of relief! Switch to sports bras or get fitted properly for a custom bra, it will be worth it.

  • Shapewear/Corset-style tops: women can also face health problems from wearing shapewear, such as Spanx or corset-style tops. They compress the organs, especially the bladder. Then after being removed, they may cause bloating. So, although they give an hour-glass shape while they’re on, they do nothing to help your natural shape once you take it off and can even make it worse. Other side effects include numbness and tingling in the hands or feet, dizziness and skin rashes if worn too tight. It is not recommended to wear shapewear everyday, therefore, save it for a special occasion if you must. Finally, as a rule- if it leaves a mark, it’s too tight.

Furthermore, any one of the tight-fitting clothes mentioned above can have an affect on the thyroid gland! The tight garment may signal to your thyroid that the body is under stress. Your body then releases cortisol and can stimulate the thyroid to work harder. Therefore, tight clothing can be the cause of hormone imbalances.

Symptoms such as gut issues, postural issues, and hormonal issues can be reduced just by wearing looser and more comfortable clothing.

Tight Shoes

Tight shoes cause a whole other array of symptoms as they affect foot function. Our feet are our foundation, and if they’re not balanced then the whole body can get thrown out of alignment.

Health problems from wearing tight shoes include:

  • Poor circulation: when circulation is cut, this can cause the feet to become red and swollen. This can cause numbness and tingling while the shoes are on and long after they’re taken off. Tight shoes are especially dangerous for those who are diabetic.

  • Blisters and sores: everyone can get a blister here and there, but chronic blisters or sores can lead to serious infections. Bacteria enters the skin and can rapidly enter your bloodstream or lymph nodes.

  • Toe issues: tight and narrow footwear often compress the toes inside the shoe and can lead to corns, bunions, and painful ingrown toenails.

  • Foot pathologies: if a shoe is too tight for too long, common foot dysfunctions occur such as plantar fasciitis, posterior or anterior tibialis tendonitis, and tarsal tunnel syndrome. Any of these pathologies can be relieved by wearing better shoes. You may also want to seek help for the pain of these conditions from a massage therapist, osteopath, acupuncturist, or any other bodyworker.

  • Postural issues and pain: lastly, if the feet are compressed for too long, this can change the shape of your arch, which can cause issues up to the knees, hips, and spine. The rest of the body relies on the feet for proper balance and distribution of weight. If the feet are not properly balanced, the body will cause compensations in other joints such as valgus or varus knees, hip rotations, pelvic tilts, spinal deviations, and finally nerve compressions.

So, if you’re suffering from knee, hip, or back pain; blisters, bunions, or swelling… This can be relieved by taking pressure off the feet and getting into a wide-fitting shoe.

My New Wide Shoes

On that note, I would love to give a shout-out to Xero shoes! I recently bought new wide and natural-fit sandals from them, and they feel great! The wide sole lets my toes spread and relax. The flexibility of the sole allows my feet and ankles to flex and extend naturally. Plus, this minimalist-style sandal makes me feel like I’m barefoot, which I love!

Their shoes are made for all types of activities including walking, hiking, running, indoor training, or if you simply must work on your feet all day.

I have no affiliation with Xero shoes, but I like my new pair of sandals so much, I just had to mention them in this post. If you would like to check them out, please visit:

Conclusively, if you’re someone who lives in pain all day, reassess your clothes or your shoes.

Loosen the belt, buy wide shoes, and ditch that underwire bra! The women burned their bras in the 60’s for a women's-liberation movement, but I think they did much more than that. They created a body-liberation movement too.

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