InAlign Blog 10-31-18: 1-Psych Survey – Overview

A Psychographic Survey of Women with Bunions.

There is a difference in how women and men experience bunions.

First, some facts:

     – Twice as many women have bunions as men. 

     – At 60 years old, 50% of women have bunions.

     – Women wear more shoe styles than men.

     – Women’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments are generally more flexible, stretchable, and lax, especially during pregnancy, than are men’s.

I put together a 50 question psychographic survey and interviewed 10 female patients of a podiatrist friend of mine. The interviews lasted about 45 minutes each.

Here’s what I learned.

All the patients had bunions for years if not decades, all had a family history of bunions, many had already had bunion surgery earlier in their lives, or multiple surgeries, and may need it again.

As a result of bunions, many also had “crooked” toes, meaning the other toes were bending outward, or toes were crossed over/under the big toe, along with hammer toes, or in one case, had their second toe amputated. A few had other foot issues which may or may not be directly related to bunions, such as, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, and arthritis affecting the toes. Bunions were the primary reason for visiting the podiatrist, but the impact of the bunions on the rest of the toes and foot are related.

Women will intensify their search for comfort shoes, as their bunions worsen and discomfort increases. But comfort isn’t the only consideration, style is, too. This is a larger issue for women, as they wear shoe styles that go with their style of dress. They have far more choices to make, and more shoes, than men. 

Sadly, many shoes that are truly comfortable, such as athletic or orthopedic shoes, are not fashionable enough to wear, depending on clothing style and activity. Wearing athletic shoes with most fashionable clothes is a frustrating choice to have to make. As a result, putting up with some discomfort becomes the norm. Many women carry along an extra pair, often several, of different styles of shoes, during their normal day. 

Compromises of comfort over fashion is a constant theme. The result may be more comfort, but the downside is a lamentable closet of well loved shoes that can’t or won’t be worn anymore.

For men, the same issues arise, but to a lesser degree. Shoes styles don’t have the same impact on their fashion choices and style of dress as they do for women. Still, the issue is comfort with fashion, and the choices are less complex for men than women.