Buying the right shoes for your feet can make all the difference. Although some of us would love to wear sky high heels because they look so good, for many this option will only cause pain and suffering in the short and long term. Getting to know your foot type and your own physical limitations will help you make good shoe shopping decisions. Your feet have to last you a lifetime, so one of the key steps to treating them well is getting the right shoe for your foot type and for your lifestyle.
1. Get Your Feet Measured: it’s not uncommon for women to buy the same size shoes they have always worn. As we age, our feet do get longer and may get wider. Keep in mind, there should be at least an index finger of width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
2. Shop for Shoes at the End of the Day: our feet swell as the day goes on. Although you may be tempted to hit that shoe sale early in the day, wait until the afternoon to get the right fit.
3. Buy Shoes to Fit Your Longer Foot: most of us have one foot that is slightly longer than the other. Since most people can’t afford to buy 2 pairs of shoes, choose the larger size so that you don’t cramp your toes. You can always pad the foot that is shorter for a better fit.
4. Shoes Vary Within Brands – most athletic shoes are made to meet the needs of its customers. Some shoes have much more give and are not intended to be worn to run a race. Others are specifically made for that purpose and have a firm heel counter, will only bend at the toe, and can’t be twisted when you attempt to wring them out like a rag. Be sure to let the salesperson know how you intend to use the shoe, so you get the right shoe for the right activity.
5. Choose shoes with a roomier toe box – pointy shoes that cramp toes can eventually cause all kinds of foot problems including bunions and ingrown toenails. You don’t need to sacrifice fashion to get the look you desire. Munro, Keen, Naot are just a few brands that have a roomier toe box.
6. Resole Worn Out Shoes To Maintain Stability – after putting many miles on your shoes the soles wear out and because of the way we walk our soles usually wear out unevenly. Wearing uneven soles can throw off our stability and put us at risk for falls and back problems. Most casual and dress shoes can be re-soled. Athletic shoes cannot. Most people put 400-600 miles on their shoes per year. Replace your athletic shoes annually or more often if you put on a lot miles.
7. Choose heels one inch or less – many women love their heels, but unfortunately they can cause many foot and ankle problems that often get worse over time such as bunions and hammertoes. If you insist on wearing heels higher than an inch, don’t wear them all the time. Constant wear of flat, flat shoes can also cause problems because they don’t provide the necessary arch support most people require. Flat shoes can cause a condition called plantar fasciitis which results in heel pain.
For more information about shoes or foot problems, call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.