At What Age Do Your Feet Stop Growing? When To Stop


Your entire body is supported by your feet. They enable standing, climbing, running, and walking. Additionally, they help to maintain your equilibrium and stability.

Even if you’re not a podiatrist who provides foot care for people of all ages, you can still find the story of how our feet change and grow as we age to be quite fascinating. Do you know at what age your feet stop growing? 

Typically, feet stop growing around the age of 20 or 21. However, it’s possible for someone’s feet to continue expanding into their early 20s. Learn more about feet by reading on!

When Do Your Feet Stop Growing?

Several years after puberty, feet typically stop growing. Approximately 14 years old for girls and 16 for boys is considered to be the “normal” age for feet to stop growing.

However, between the ages of 18 and 20, the growth plates in the feet finally close.

Although you stop growing feet when you reach adolescence, your feet continue to change size as you get older.

How Can You Stop Your Feet From Growing?

According to science, you cannot stop your feet or any other body part from growing. Your feet grow in size as your body requires; you are not a bonsai. Therefore, it is not recommended that you alter the growth of your feet or any other part of your body. There are some ways to help you slow the growth of your feet if it is happening more frequently than usual. Remember that you can only help them grow slowly and cannot prevent them from pursuing their goals.

Using a shoe arch in your shoes is the most popular and convenient way to stop your foot from growing. When your body weight flattens your feet, they become larger and wider. Your feet won’t become flat as a result of an arch, which also prevents them from expanding further. Additionally, you can prevent your feet from becoming flattened by wearing specially made arched sandals that perfectly fit your feet.

Don’t let your shoes widen over time; instead, wear more stable footwear. The material used to make your shoes can cause them to occasionally become wide. So switch to stable shoes to prevent your feet from getting bigger. And guess what, sometimes when you buy shoes, you get a size bigger without realizing that they will get wider with use. As a result, whenever you purchase shoes, make sure they are the exact right size for your foot, not one that is bigger or smaller.

Reasons Adults’ Feet Change In Size

  • Pregnancy – increases foot size due to the hormone Relaxin which loosens the ligaments and connective tissues, so the feet tend to flatten
  • Tight, small shoes – can cause our toes to claw and therefore our feet will appear smaller due to the reduced toe length
  • Thongs and similar shoes that encourage our toes to grip the ground – also encourage muscle and ligament contracture resulting in the claw or hammertoe position which can make our foot length appear smaller
  • Age – from our 50s onwards, our ligaments tend to lose some of the strength and flexibility they once had, and stretch. This means our feet can get bigger and wider
  • Weight – as your weight increases or decreases, you may find that your foot size does too due to the added mass
  • Swelling – a number of medical conditions, as well as lifestyle factors, can cause our feet to swell and therefore influence the size of our feet – and definitely the shoe size we need to walk comfortably

Unfortunately, when our feet flatten, the tissues, ligaments, and muscles in our feet are more easily strained and overused, which can quickly result in foot pain. For this reason, using solutions like custom foot orthotics is common to maintain well-supported feet and arches, maximizing comfort and lowering the risk of injury.

Your Feet Are Always Growing, Right?

Your body grows before your feet do. Your feet will develop quickly as you get younger. Every year, you will need to purchase a new pair of shoes because your old ones will no longer fit. But as you get older—old being defined as an adult, most likely in your twenties—your feet will stop growing, allowing you to wear your favorite pairs of shoes until they are torn off after years of use.

Children’s feet typically continue to expand until puberty. However, boys and girls experience foot growth at different ages. Until they turn 10 years old, boys’ feet primarily grow. 80% of their foot growth is completed by this age. Boys’ feet almost reach their maximum height by the time they are 15 or 16 years old and most likely won’t grow any higher. They attain a stable size.

Around the age of 13 to 14, girls’ feet begin to grow the most. However, 90% of a girl’s foot growth begins after puberty. Due to hormones, they can now observe how the size of their feet changes over time.

At around age 20 to 21, the size of both boys’ and girls’ feet stabilizes. Consequently, you don’t need to worry about your shoe size. You will continue to develop up to the age of 21, and possibly a little after that until you reach adulthood. Boys and girls, your feet don’t get any bigger over the course of your lifetime.

Does Height Growth Stop Before Feet?

Naturally, your body doesn’t stop growing at any particular age because it doesn’t grow at the same rate throughout your entire life. The first parts of your body to stop growing are your hands and feet, followed by your hands and legs, and finally your spine. Therefore, the answer to the previous question is true. Yes, your feet stop growing before your height because your spine greatly influences your height. The human body is a very dynamic object to understand, though, so there may be some exceptions.

Now, you’re probably thinking that if your feet stop growing before your height, if you have small feet you will be short. While it is often true that tall people have large feet and short people have small feet, this is not always the case. You can be short and have large feet, or you can be tall and have small feet. Therefore, if your feet are still small when you reach a certain height, you need not be concerned about your height.

Feet Change When Pregnancy

It’s typical for feet to enlarge during pregnancy. A number of things could cause this:

  • Increased weight. Your feet are subjected to additional strain due to your increased body weight. Your feet may spread as a result of your ligaments becoming elastic.
  • Growing uterus. The blood vessels nearby are put under pressure as your uterus grows. Your feet and ankles may develop edema, or swelling, as a result of the pressure.
  • Increased fluid retention. During pregnancy, your body holds onto more fluid. Your feet may grow in size as a result of the fluid buildup in your lower limbs.
  • Hormonal changes. Relaxin is a hormone that is produced by the placenta during pregnancy and helps to break down collagen, softening the cervix. Your foot’s ligaments may become looser as a result of relaxing.

In the event that your feet swell, the enlarged size will only last a short time. After giving birth, swelling in the feet and ankles usually goes down.

Try the following recommendations to lessen swelling during pregnancy:

  • Do light physical activity every day
  • Wear compression socks
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Avoid prolonged standing
  • Sleep on your left side
  • Elevate your legs

In some instances, the size increase is irreversible. This typically occurs when the ligaments in your feet sag and relax while you’re pregnant. Your feet might not grow back to their original size if these structural changes take place.

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