Your first priority when buying shoes should not be their aesthetics or even their cost. Rather, it should be whether or not they fit your feet well and provide enough support. Read on for a few tips on how to select your shoes based on their ability to protect your feet and prevent both short-term injury and long-term damage.
Measure Your Feet. Have the length and width of your feet measured before trying on a prospective pair of shoes. Be sure to stand up while this is happening, as feet tend to expand when more weight is placed on them. In addition, if you find that one foot is bigger than another, then be sure to fit your shoes to the larger foot—you can often modify the fit to the smaller foot with the addition of strategically placed pads and the like.
Shop Later in the Day. Feet and toes swell as the day progresses and this is normal. To avoid painful experiences later, have your feet measured in the afternoon or early evening.
Think About Your Whole Foot. Shoes should accommodate both your heel and your toes. When you try on shoes, be sure that your toes fit comfortably and snugly, and that your heel does not slide out of the shoe when you lift your foot. The shoe should bend where and how your foot bends. Do not choose shoes that are too tight and expect to “break them in”—doing so can lead to foot pain, blisters, hammertoes, and bunions.
Bring Socks. If you’re planning on buying a pair of running shoes, bring a pair of socks with you. Without them, you will only gain a rough and likely inaccurate impression of how the shoes actually fit.
Size Really Doesn’t Matter. Just because you’ve worn a size 9 in the past does not mean that a 9 will always be the best size for all shoes, for all years, and for all styles and manufacturers. Further, our feet tend to grow a little as we get older. There are no standards in the shoe industry. It’s a competitive industry and manufacturers are out to grab your dollar, not provide you with the best fit. They just want you to buy. Shoes are made differently and should always be tested out before a purchase.
The basic shape of a shoe is called a “Last”. A Last is the outline … of somebody’s foot, not yours! So who is to say that the shape of that foot should fit you? There is no rule. So be sure to get a shoe that fits your foot.
For more information on the treatment of hammertoes, bunions and fungal infections, contact the Family Foot Center at (718) 767-5555. For over 23 years Dr. Stanley J. Zawada and the staff of the Family Foot Center have provided expert care, diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders for adults and children in the New York City area. Visit us online or call us at (718) 767-5555 to learn more about our services and to make an appointment.
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