Believe it or not, one person can have two feet that are slightly different in size and shape. And even if yours seem identically matched, they don’t necessarily remain a constant size. Your feet can actually be different sizes at different times of the day. There are also more lasting changes: Most feet gradually widen with age, and sometimes women’s feet “grow” (because of muscle relaxation during pregnancy) after the birth of a child.
Whatever the size of your feet it’s important to buy the right shoes — shoes that will fit correctly and offer your feet and ankles the support they need. The following suggestions will help you become a smart shoe shopper.
First and foremost don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe but by how the shoe fits your foot.
Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot.
During the fitting process, make sure there is enough space (3/8″ to 1/2″) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up.
Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
Don’t buy shoes that feel too tight and expect them to stretch to fit.
Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping – the shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.
Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right. Then take them home and spend some time walking on carpet to make sure the fit is a good one.
The upper part of the shoes should be made of a soft, flexible material to match the shape of your foot. Shoes made of leather can reduce the possibility of skin irritations. Soles should provide solid footing and not be slippery. Thick soles cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces. Low-heeled shoes are more comfortable, safer, and less damaging than high-heeled shoes.
Always tighten the laces of the shoes that you are trying on so that your feet are secure in the shoe. There are also different lacing patterns that can be applied to the shoe to adapt for your foot pain or structural anomalies.