Expert Tips for the Perfect Fit
You would think that shopping for footwear is easy once you know your size. People do it all the time, after all, and once you’ve reached adulthood, shoe sizes no longer change, right?
But as it turns out, an overwhelming number of people still have difficulty getting the right pair of shoes. An interesting study from the College of Podiatry found that half of women wear the wrong shoe size. Meanwhile, a third of the adult participants admitted that their shoes do not fit properly.
The problem is that ill-fitting shoes come with several health risks. They can cause damage to your feet in the form of corns, blisters, calluses, and bunions. Moreover, loose-fitting shoes can also cause trips and subsequently sustain more physical injuries in the long run. An article by Very Well Health even touches on how poor fitting shoes for people suffering from diabetes can result in ulcers due to the pressure and rubbing within the shoes.
That said, size is a crucial detail to consider when browsing for new footwear, but few realize that other factors come into play as well.
Do Shoe Fittings in the Evening or Afternoon
Podiatrist Karen Langone recommends purchasing shoes at the end of the day, when your feet swell and expand. This is a common occurrence and is usually caused by activities such as sitting and standing. When you sit or stand for hours on end, your bloodflow to and from your feet slows down, resulting in a temporary accumulation of blood. Fitting shoes during this time can help you avoid discomfort in the future.
Examine the Soles
Some forms of shoes, like sandals, often have thin platforms. When trying on shoes like these, it’s important to pay close attention to the soles. Ideally, there should be padding and cushioning to make the footwear more comfortable to walk in. Good soles are also sturdy enough to protect from sharp objects that you might accidentally step on.
Prioritize Comfort Over Size
It’s important to remember that shoe size is just a number, and the actual fit of shoes can vary. Sometimes, you may find a size 8 is appropriate, while on other occasions it’s size 9 that fits better. This is because the type of shoe and brand should also be factored in, as well as the structure of your foot.
One of the most common issues people face is when the length of the shoes are correct, but the width is not — which can lead to feet feeling pinched at the sides. Larger shoe sizes don’t necessarily fix the problem, as the width could be the same. Therefore, it’s best to look for the most comfortable rather than any numerical size, and to shop around for shoes that truly fit you. The array of wide width flats and slip-ons featured on Woman Within show that there are many options available for consumers with wider feet. It’s also a testament to the importance that should be placed on comfort among footwear brands. Therefore, keep an eye out for stores that categorize shoes not just by size, but also by width.
Consider the Material
Last but not least, keep in mind the issue of rubbing. Aside from trying a shoe on and walking around for a bit, imagine what it would feel like against your feet after a long day. For instance, sandals that don’t come with a smooth material on either side may cause rubbing in the long run. It also helps to consider what purpose the shoes will serve. An adventure guide here on Fort Collins Magazine details how zero-drop, barefoot-feel sneakers are appropriate for a day hike, whereas other types of shoes will match other activities. Therefore, take into account what sort of things you’ll do when you wear different shoes, and shop accordingly.