Finding the right shoes can literally feel like quite a pain – we often experience pain, discomfort, blisters, swelling, and more when we end up with an ill fitting or low quality pair of shoes. It doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some ways to make the buying experience a bit easier, and making your feet have a much more pleasant experience.
- Shop later in the day/night, when you have been on your feet for awhile. This way, you are getting a more realistic fit. If you shop first thing in your day, then go to put them on later after your feet have swollen they may be too snug! Or, if you shop after they are completely swollen, when you put them on to start your day they may feel too large! Basically, our feet change throughout the day, so you want to find something that is going to work with your body as you wear them. If you can’t buy in person, make sure to take proper measurements, and use them accurately. Meaning, if your foot is 9in long, you need a shoe that is LONGER than 9in – otherwise your foot won’t fit in it!
- Choose the best fit – oof this one is difficult! Most of us actually buy shoes that are too small for us, especially when it comes to things like heels. We get used to or want a “snug fit” when in reality you want room for ALL your toes to be flat and wiggle around and you want extra length at the end. Cramped toes, too narrow of shoes and constant pressure on the joints of the toes will lead to bunions, hammertoes, corns and arthritis. But even if you are going to choose more snugly, you still want to keep a couple things in mind: you don’t want to much or too little movement as that will contribute to blisters by rubbing, try to give your toes as much room as possible to move around.
- If it isn’t comfortable in the store, it most likely won’t be comfortable at home either. Move around in them – do you feel stable and balanced? Do they lie around too much? Are they too snug? Do they roll in or out? What does the quality feel like? Will the stretch or soften? If you can’t sort the answers on your own, ask for help – if they know theirs shoes, they know the answers.
- If you are buying heels, make sure there is adequate padding under the ball of the foot to account for the added pressure to the area. Make sure the heels themselves are properly balanced and sturdy – directly under the ankle. If the heel is too far back, it will not provide proper support. The wider the heel itself is, the more stable it will be. You want your weight to still be distributed throughout the foot, not just the ball or toes. Remember that walking in heels can change depending on the surface, so be prepared! Your stride will be shorter the higher the heel, and make sure you’re keeping the heels vertical so they don’t slip.
- Invest in quality products. This can and often means spending more, not something we can always do. But when you can, aim for materials that let your feet breath and are flexible. Things like higher end leathers are going to be softer and kinder to your feet. Plasticy materials or cheap pleathers will often cut into your feet or rub to create blisters.