There are many types and brands of athletic, casual, and dress shoes. With so many varieties available, one should buy a shoe for comfort over the look as there are many things to consider that can potentially lead to foot problems. There are many benefits to wearing a good fitting shoe. An appropriate shoe can provide you with proper foot stabilization, decrease fatigue and work of muscles, decrease stress and strain of ligaments of the knee and/or foot joints, and provide protection within various terrains and climates.
It is important to know what to examine and consider before purchasing a new shoe to assist with overall foot care and wellness. Feet are more susceptible to change with age, certain medical diagnosis, and sometimes with increased physical activity. Purchasing proper shoes may also assist in preventing potential injury and/or legs and hips not being properly aligned. There are a list of things to consider from both your current and potential shoe before purchase of a new shoe to maintain healthy feet.
- Examine your current shoe for signs of increase wear around specific areas around the sides and bottom of shoe
- Measure the length of both feet: The size of shoe may vary depending on the brand. For some, one foot may be larger than the other
- Measure the width of each foot
- Examine the sole of the shoe for gripping to decrease risk for sliding and for falls
- Make sure there is ½ inch between your toe and tip of the inside of the shoe
- Examine cushion of shoe and shock absorption components for various terrains
- Examine overall quality and make of shoe to ensure proper protection
- Stand and walk in shoes to ensure comfort and balance
- Make sure laces and fit around foot are not tight
- If you are flat footed or have a decreased arch it is beneficial to buy a shoe with arch support
- Choose a shoe designed for the activity of choice (example: running shoe, walking shoe, basketball shoe).
Plus, new shoes can get you motivated to move more. Enjoy your new shoes and celebrate the miles you will walk and the mountains they will climb (metaphorically, but maybe also physically). Always remember, if your feet ever exhibit any signs of change in color, sensation, swelling, or pain please remember to contact your doctor.