Foot problems are all too common, but they are often preventable. When you wear the wrong kinds of shoes, you are putting your feet at risk of all kinds of foot pain, from blisters to chronic foot issues like plantar fasciitis. Whether it’s the design of the shoe or the size, one misstep can have you limping home because your feet hurt.
Fortunately, picking a good pair of supportive shoes isn’t rocket science. To walk you through the process, we’ve compiled some helpful tips on how to buy shoes that are good to your feet.
Many people have never had their feet professionally measured, and it is a must if you want to find shoes that really fit properly. A professional will measure both the length and the width of your foot because both are important in getting the perfect fit. When you go to order a pair of shoes online, instead of choosing ones based on just the size alone, compare the measurements of the shoe to the measurements of your foot. If you have wider feet than average, then it is likely that you will need wide width shoes.
Regardless of whether you are trying on your shoes in store or at home after you’ve ordered them, make sure you walk around for at least a few minutes on the carpet to see how the shoes feel.
It’s very normal for one foot to be slightly larger than the other. Studies in the U.S. have found that around 80% of the population has a larger left than right foot. However, if the difference between your feet is significant, then you might have to make special arrangements when it comes to shoes.
The best thing to do is to buy shoes individually in different sizes, but that is not generally an option. More likely, you will need to buy your shoes in the larger size to accommodate your larger foot. Otherwise, you’re putting that foot at risk of developing sores or foot problems. You can always wear a thick pair of socks over your smaller foot to help fill out the larger shoe.
When you walk around all day, your feet will naturally swell. If your shoes are already tight, they will feel more tight at the end of the day and can cause you to have poor circulation. It’s best to try on shoes for the first time at the end of the day.
Round toe shoes are going to give your toes more space than pointy-toed shoes. Particularly if you have bunions, a round toe shoe will allow more room for your toes to space out and breathe.
Heels put a lot of pressure on the front of the foot, which can be uncomfortable in the moment and cause major foot problems down the line. It’s best to avoid tall heels altogether to protect your feet. If you do like the look of heels, try a pair that is 2.5 inches or less or opt for a low wedge shoe.
More soft, flexible shoe materials will provide a higher level of comfort and flexibility than rigid materials. This is one of the reasons why leather is so highly thought of when it comes to shoes, because it is soft and malleable as well as highly durable. Particularly if you have a problem like bunions, a soft shoe won’t exacerbate the problem.
If you want to feel like you are walking on a cloud, then look for shoes with orthotic footbeds that will provide great arch support while you are walking. A shoe with a flat insole won’t offer much support and will eventually cause your feet to hurt. If the shoe doesn’t have supportive insoles, consider the option of adding your own custom orthotics.