One of the most common things my patients ask me about is how to select the right shoe for their foot.

When we look at shoes, there's three simple tests that we can do.

  • One, we can flex the shoe like this. Your foot is supposed to bend at the ball of the foot, not in the middle like you see here.
  • The second is twisting the shoe from side to side. If the shoe is floppy like this, it's gonna let your foot twist easily from side to side.
  • And the third, is how stable is the heel in the back? And when this is soft and flexible it will also provide less support.

So after reviewing these three tests this would not be a shoe I would recommend for my patients. Let's take a look at another athletic shoe. In this case, when we bend it from front to back, we can see that no matter how hard I push it only bends in the ball. When we twist it from side to side, it takes a lot of force to move it at all. And finally, the heel counter, the back of the heel, is very stable. This shoe would be one that I would definitely recommend.

With dress shoes it's certainly much more of a challenge to provide style and comfort for women. In this case though, we can see in this boot that the boot only bends at the ball. When twisted from side to side it's reasonably stable, and the heel counter, while not as stable as the athletic shoe that I showed, it's still reasonable. The heel is low, which is all right. Overall, this shoe would be one I can recommend.

What to buy running shoes? Here are our recommendations to get the best ones for you.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.