The discomfort you feel is indicative of a mismatch.
For years I had settled on a shoe size of 42, but I noticed I always felt some discomfort, especially after long walks.
Family, friends and sellers always sold the idea that there is a big 42 and a small 42. Some added a racist twist, saying that since most shoes are now produced in China, it is the small 42 that is usually available.
One day, I decided to try out a size 43 shoe. It felt too comfortable. I had to ask many times if the seller was sure it wasn’t a size 42. I was not trusting of the label. He was cock-sure it was a size 43.
I now use a size 43, and walk long distances in comfort.
I used to look back and wonder why it took me so long to switch. The answer emerged some years ago. I have an uncle that wears the coolest shoes, the only way to get shoes off him was for my feet to fit into a size 42. Even when I could now afford cool shoes like my uncle’s, I was still caged in his size 42.
There are many aspects of life I remain caged by past choices, but shoe size is no longer one of them.
– Osasu Oviawe