How does anyone choose a correct shoe for your foot and needs anymore? How do you know what is actually a good shoe with support for your foot? As opposed to a popular brand and the latest color fashion trend?
A shoe should fit your foot, not your foot trying to fit into the shoe.
Things to keep in mind:
- Achilles notch. Reduces stress on the Achilles tendon.
- Ankle collar. Cushions the ankle and ensures proper fit.
- Upper. Holds the shoe on your foot and is usually made of leather, mesh or synthetic material. Mesh allows better ventilation and is lighter weight.
- Insole. Cushions and supports your foot and arch. Removable insoles can be laundered or taken out to dry between walking sessions.
- Midsole. Provides comfort, cushioning and shock absorption.
- Outsole. Makes contact with the ground. Grooves and treads can help maintain traction.
- Toe box. Provides space for the toes. A roomy and round toe box helps prevent calluses.
- Gel pad. Cushions and reduces impact when your foot strikes the ground.
- Roll bar. Helps stabilize your foot if it tends to roll inward when striking the ground.
Consider your foot type. Mine are short and wide with the big toe longest and a high arch.
Here are some tips for finding the best fit in a pair of walking shoes:
- Wear the same socks you’ll wear when walking, or take the socks with you to the store.
- Shop for shoes after you’ve been walking for a while, and later in the day, when your feet are at their largest.
- Buy shoes at an athletic shoe store with professional fitters or at a store where you have lots of options.
- Ask the salesperson to measure both feet, measure them yourself, or have a friend or family member help you. Measure your feet each time you buy shoes, because your foot size can change gradually over years. Stand while your foot is measured to get the most accurate measurement.
- If one foot is larger than the other, try on a pair that fits your larger foot.
- Try on both shoes and check the fit. Wiggle your toes. If you don’t have at least a half-inch (1.3 centimeters) between your longest toe and the end of the shoe — approximately the width of your finger — try a larger size.
- Be sure the shoe is wide enough. The side-to-side fit of the shoe should be snug, not tight. If you’re a woman with wide feet, consider men’s or boys’ shoes, which are cut a bit larger through the heel and the ball of the foot.
- Walk in the shoes before buying them. They should feel comfortable right away. Make sure your heel fits snugly in each shoe and doesn’t slip as you walk.
And lastly, if you can see the shoe is cheaper online and the right size, ask the sales person for a discount to match the online price. If they don’t do it, buy it online.