01 Nov Top 5 Shoe Buying Tips
Shoe Shopping Tips
As the weather turns cooler, you’re probably changing your foot wardrobe, abandoning your summer sandals in favor of boots and closed-toe shoes. Before you head for the stores to start stocking up, take a little time to think about what’s best for your feet.
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we want all of our customers to be well-heeled. The right shoes will prevent many foot and ankle problems, so read on for our top shopping tips.
1. Toe the Line
A wide, soft toe box is key to foot comfort. Look for round or square toes, and avoid those that are pointed or narrow. A cramped toe box will lead to bunions, corns, ingrown nail and a long list of other problems.
Remember: The idea that a shoe has to be “broken in” is a myth. Shoes should feel comfortable the minute you put them on. If they don’t, don’t buy them.
To get the right fit:
- Shop for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet have swollen to their full size.
- Make sure the shoes fit both feet comfortably.
- If you can’t wiggle your toes, the shoes are too tight.
2. Inside Support
Almost everyone needs some arch support, and if you work on your feet or you’re over 40, you definitely need it. Age, overweight and long hours on your feet can lead to a flattened arch, and not supporting the arch will lead to painful conditions like tendonitis and heel spur.
If your shoes don’t come with the right interior support but you still want to buy them, no worries. Dr. Shuman can craft custom orthotics that will give you all the support you need.
3. Such a Heel
Women should avoid high heels. Frequently wearing heels, especially those with pointed toes, can lead to hammertoes, bunions, Morton’s neuroma, ingrown nail, pump bump, shin splints and other painful, disfiguring conditions.
Women should look for shoes with sturdy, broad heels no higher than an inch, lace-up construction, and a wide toe box.
Men’s shoes tend to be more solid than women’s, and don’t usually include high-heeled options. The best shoe styles for men are slip-on loafers, lace-up Oxfords or ankle boots.
4. Material Matters
What should your shoes be made of?
Many people think that leather is the best choice, and it’s true that leather has many advantages as a shoe fabric. It’s soft, pliable and durable. It conforms to the foot’s shape and is usually very comfortable.
But the idea that leather is the best material for shoes is no longer true, as new materials are now being used to create shoes that are just as comfortable, breathable, pliable and foot-healthy as leather. In addition, some people choose not to wear leather for ethical reasons, and there’s no reason for their ethical choices to result in poor foot health. Fabric, rubber, high-quality synthetic leather and recycled materials are all good alternatives to leather that will keep your feet healthy.
5. Match Game
Sports and exercise have their own shoe requirements, so always match the shoe to the activity in order to avoid sports-related injuries like sprains, turf toe, and Achilles tendonitis.
If you’re a competition-level athlete, you’ll need specialty footwear that gives you the right mix of support and mobility. For most exercises, general-use athletic shoes are a great choice.
- Running shoes will work for joggers and walkers.
- Cross-trainers are good if you also lift weights.
- For Zumba and other dance aerobics, look for a “spin spot” on the shoe.
- Ski boots and ice skates need to keep the foot rigid.
- Custom orthotics can amp up your shoes’ performance and help you avoid injury.
Treat Your Feet
The right shoes are a gift for your feet. Comfortable, supportive, well-fitting footwear is the key to happy feet that are free from pain and injury. If you’re having any foot concerns or would like some expert advice on shoe shopping, come in for a consultation at Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine. We’ll get you started on the path to good foot health.