Tight shoes can feel as though they are very gradually causing peripheral neuropathy if you wear them often.

In order for tight shoes to cause permanent peripheral neuropathy, you’d have to wear them way more than what you normally do.

“Theoretically, it is possible, but one would have to wear the shoes constantly (24/7) for days to cause permanent damage,” explains Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore; Diplomate, American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

“This, of course, assumes the person is healthy and doesn’t have any other issues (like diabetes).”

Wearing tight shoes every day will put you at risk for developing other problems such as bunions.

But who wears tight shoes – or any shoes – 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

Rock and wall climbers wear exceptionally tight shoes – made for climbing. Climbers do not have to worry about developing peripheral neuropathy even if they’re out all day on the rocks.

The shoes are so tight that they can be a struggle to get on. But no climber in their right mind leaves them on during breaks.

What DOES Cause Permanent
Peripheral Neuropathy?

• Diabetes
• Kidney disease
• Hypothyroidism
• Deficiencies in vitamins E, B-1, B-6, and B-12
• Injuries (e.g., car accidents, falls)
• Sedentary lifestyle, no exercise regimen
• Tarsal tunnel syndrome (like carpal tunnel except affecting the foot)
• Alcoholism
• Chemical exposure
• Cancer treatment and other drugs
• Infections
• Lupus
• Rheumatoid arthritis

Ailments from Wearing Tight Shoes

• Hammer toe
• Crossover toe
• Ingrown toenail
• Corns
• Bunion

Tight shoes, including today’s super pointy pumps that force a woman’s upper foot to be severely compressed to conform to the shape of these shoes, will cause all sorts of problems to the feet and toes.

But permanent peripheral neuropathy is not one of them – unless perhaps if you keep the shoes on all the time and sleep in them.

Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.