Many people find that they need to wear wide fitting footwear as they get older. That’s because as we age, the tendons and ligaments that link the tiny bones in our feet lose elasticity. This allows the toes to spread out and the arch of the foot to flatten causing our feet to become longer and wider. Increased weight gain can also cause feet to lengthen and widen. As we gain weight it places more pressure on our feet causing them to splay.

Lorraine Jones, from the College of Podiatry, the research arm of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, says: "Feet are getting bigger because as a nation we are becoming taller and we're increasing in weight.

"Increased weight gain places more pressure on the feet and means ligaments and joints need to work harder to maintain the foot's structure and keep you mobile.

"Over time if someone is gaining weight the feet splay to try and accommodate the increased pressure, which can cause pain, lead to mobility issues and increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis in the lower limb joints.”

 Wide fitting footwear