If you’ve never been to a podiatrist, then your idea of the best shoes for your feet is probably the pair that looks the best, feels comfortable, and falls within your price range. But choosing the correct shoe is much more important than most people realise. Not only do we spend most of the day with our shoes on, the type of shoes we wear will gradually shape our feet over the course of years. This means if we choose the wrong one, we could end up with problems such as hammertoes or fallen arches. In this blog, we’re going to help you identify what type of shoes you should be wearing.
How to Buy
For starters, you should always try to buy shoes in the afternoon. Our feet swell up during the day as we walk around, and buying shoes first thing in the morning can mean you end up with a pair that’s too tight. You should always ask to have your feet remeasured as well, because many people will simply remember roughly what size they are, which can also result in ill-fitting shoes.
Apart from size, there are two main things to look for when buying a standard pair of everyday shoes. The first is cushioning, and how much cushioning you want will depend on how long you spend on your feet. The final and possibly most important thing to look for is proper arch support. The arch is the middle of the shoe, and can be either totally flat, neutral, or high. To identify which is best suited for you, follow our instructions below.
To figure out what sort of arch support you need, there is a simple test you can do at home. Get a basin of water and a flat piece of brown paper, such as a torn paper bag. Wet your feet and stand naturally on top of the paper. When you step off, the middle of your footprints will tell you what kind of arches you have.
If the dark patch in the middle stretches less than half of the way across the feet, it means you have high arches, and need high-arched shoes or an orthotic device. This will help add extra stability, as will a wide-based shoe. If the dark patches stretch halfway, you have neutral arches, and so standard arches will do. Finally, if the dark patches stretch almost all the way across, then you most likely have flat feet or fallen arches. This can make it more difficult to balance and easier to injure your feet, so a heavy, tough shoe is the best option as it can reduce the risk of injury.
The importance of shoe shopping is the kind of thing that people can easily overlook. It can be easy to think that we know what we’re doing because we’ve been wearing shoes our whole lives, but making just a few small changes can have a dramatic effect on your comfort and health levels. In this blog, we looked at general everyday shoes, but for more information on this topic, see our blog on Choosing the Right Sports Shoe.