Posted by: thediygeochemist | April 13, 2009

internet rates a fail

I frequently search online for answers to questions. But, being a scientist, I realize that a lot of the stuff out there is unverified information and/or old wives’ tales.

My latest science mystery (which I haven’t shared with my kids) is this: my feet are shrinking. When I finished growing, I wore a size 9. During pregnancy #3 my feet increased to size 9 1/2, and a year or two after kid 4 was born I had to upsize to size 10.

Well, I’ve been noticing for several weeks now that my feet have been sliding around in my everyday shoes. I thought that maybe the leather of my shoes had stretched–I’ve been wearing these shoes for far too long, after all, and they are in desperate need of replacement. But then, on Friday, I went out with some friends, and I wore a pair of flats, a rather boring set of slip-ons. They flapped on my feet like flip-flops!

Why, oh why, are my feet shrinking? I actually have accumulated half a dozen pairs of shoes I like (a record for me; I’m picky about shoes), and I have no money to replace them!

I looked online for “feet shrinking” and found that information fell into two categories:

  1. You have lost a significant amount of weight. (I’ve lost a few pounds, but not that much; and I’m still 40 pounds over where I was when I “grew” to size 10.)
  2. The amount of soft tissues in your feet shrink as you get older, causing your feet to get smaller. (But I’ve also read that as you age, you lose connective tissue in your feet, which causes your feet to spread.)

Neither of these rings true to me. I’ve thought about it myself, and I’m wondering if it’s my recent burst of activity–I’ve been walking several miles a day, 4-5 times a week, for about 8 months now. Could this spate of exercise have done something to the muscles in my feet, causing them to firm up and therefore shrink?

I went shoe shopping on Saturday because, as I mentioned earlier, my everyday shoes are almost kaput. Couldn’t find walking shoes I liked–the brand I’ve had reason to like in the past just didn’t fit. The 10s were too big–I could feel my heels sliding around–but the 9 1/2s were just a hair too small. I tried on all the other walking shoes in the store, but had no luck. I tried on some sandals that would serve me nicely as a temporary measure, and they fit, but they were just too ugly; I couldn’t bring myself to buy them. It was almost dinner time so I went home, discouraged, without trying other stores.

In the mean time, I have to put up with shoes that don’t fit. Not one pair, but six pairs. And because I have no walkers that fit me, I have to wear my expensive (and not too attractive) hiking boots when I walk around town.

Why are my feet shrinking???!!!


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