Having proper fitting footwear is very important for foot health; especially if you are wearing your shoes for a good portion of the day. Shoes actually serve a purpose. They protect our feet and cushion our body weight. They can be purposeful and fashionable at the same time however it is important to how should shoes fit your feet properly before making your decision.
If you wear shoes that do not fit properly you will be more susceptible to bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and other problems. People have different foot shapes and trying on footwear to ensure a proper fit is important. Just because you take a size 7 in one brand or style it does not mean you will take a size 7 if you try on another brand or style. Keep in mind that even though you may have found a good pair of comfortable, nice-fitting shoes, they wear down over time and need to be replaced if they are worn regularly.
It can be hard to find a knowledgeable sales person unless you go into a store that specifically sells footwear and the sales staff is properly trained. To get a good pair of shoes it is a good idea to avoid online shopping and big box stores where you will not have trained sales staff to help you find proper fitting footwear.
The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society have put together a list of tips to help you find footwear that will suit your purposes.
• Have your feet measured each time you purchase shoes. Your foot size and shape can change over time so the size that fits best may change.
• Make sure you get both feet measured as most people have one foot that is larger than the other. You can’t buy two different sizes for one pair of shoes so fit the shoes to your larger foot.
• Your feet are largest at the end of the day as throughout the day there may be some swelling. It is a good idea to get measured at the end of a day to ensure you will have a comfortable fit even when your feet swell.
• Each brand of footwear may fit a little differently so even if you take a size 7 in one brand, you may take a size 6 in another. Always make sure you can try the footwear on before you make a purchase. If you decide to buy online, check the return policy in case they do not fit.
• The shape of the shoe should resemble the shape of your foot when you try it on.
• Do not assume that all shoes will stretch over time. You want a good fit when you buy them.
• Ensure that the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.
• Ensure that the shoe has enough depth to fit your toes so that your toes are not squished in. If your toes are squished you will experience rubbing that may cause calluses and sores.
• When you stand up, you should have 3/8” or ½” room between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
• Take the shoes for a test walk to make sure they are comfortable, fit well, and don’t rub anywhere on your foot. Make sure that your heel does not slide while you are walking.
When you try on shoes it is nice to have a salesperson who can help you determine if it is a good fit. If that is not an option, follow the guidelines above and you should find footwear that is a proper fit.
If you do have any foot issues that make it hard to find a proper fitting shoe or questions regarding how should shoes fit your feet best, the professionals at Bunion Surgery may be able to offer some advice for finding a shoe that fits or taking care of the foot issue that is making it difficult.