Shoes today come in many different shapes, sizes, styles and functions. For many people, the task of selecting the proper shoe for their needs can be a frustrating and sometimes painful process. This article is designed to give you some general tips to keep in mind when you go shopping for new shoes.
Every shoe has a purpose. Start by determining what activity will be done in the shoe and select the proper shoe accordingly. For example, if you were planning to go for a hike on rugged, rocky terrain, a running shoe may not be appropriate. A cross-trainer with sturdier soles might be a better choice. Almost all activities have specific shoes designed for that purpose.
Just because you were a size 6 ten years ago, doesn’t mean you are now.
As we get older our feet continue to get longer due to lowering arches. The lowering of the arches results in longer and wider feet.
Be sure to have your feet measured every time you try on new shoes.
Every shoe fits differently
There are thousands of shoe manufacturers out there today and there is no standardized fitting system. For this reason, two shoes that are both a size 8 could fit very differently from one brand to another. Keep in mind that there are many brands today that have both length and width sizing available. If you have a wider foot, it is better to find a shoe in a wider width than it is to get a longer shoe. The rule of thumb, literally, is to have approximately a thumb’s width between your toes and the end of the shoe when you are standing.
Hard to fit feet? Seek advice. If the structure of your foot makes it difficult for you to find proper footwear, you should get advice from a professional who can recommend brands and styles that may work better for you. A certified pedorthist can make recommendations based on foot mechanics and structure.
Shopping at independent shoe retailers rather than large chains is often better as they tend to focus on fit and selection. A good shoe retailer will take the time to measure your feet, help select the best shoe for your foot type/activity, and ensure the proper fit.