Published on: April 13, 2021

Baware of the Winklepicker!

One thing I'm constantly surprised about is the lack of awareness of how shoes have an impact on the occurrence of ingrown toenails.

A narrow toe-box is one of the leading causes of an acute ingrown toenail. Other footwear characteristics that can lead to the nail ingrowing from shoe pressure include; pointed shoes, stiff uppers (e.g. inelastic synthetic materials or steel capped boots) and wearing a shoe size that's too small for your foot.

As soon as you develop an ingrown toenail, you need to assess your footwear and try to identify if there is a footwear culprit! Avoid this shoe and similar styles to help in the management of your ingrown toenail and prevent recurrence.

Above is a common type of men's business/dress shoe that can cause or exasperate ingrown toenails. This style of modern men's shoe, with the long and pointed toe-box, was made popular in the 1950's. It was called the Winklepicker. Below is a photo I took at the Museum of London earlier this year; It explains the origin of the name, of which I'm yet to fully understand!

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