Tips For Getting A Good Fitting Shoe
It’s shocking how many people today are actually wearing ill-fitting shoes. You might assume that just because you’ve worn the same size shoes all your life, that you don’t need to have them professionally measured. Perhaps you had a pair properly fitted years ago, and you figure that your feet haven’t changed since so there’s no need to bother again. You’d be wrong! Not only that but different brands of shoes as well as various designs and styles measure up differently so to be sure that you are purchasing a pair of well-fitting shoes, it’s essential that you regularly have your feet measured as well as following out other top ten tips to a good fit that will help you avoid and relieve achy feet.
It’s not just about comfort.
Purchasing a correctly fitting pair of boots, sneakers, or shoes isn’t just a case of comfort either. The wrong shoes can cause all kinds of foot injuries as well as affecting our posture and gait, leading to further issues with our biomechanics. Did you know that the foot comprises of 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments? The potential for injury is so much higher than you might ever have realized. Foot injuries are a common concern but can be avoided if you know what steps you can take to ensure that your shoes fit correctly.
Our feet might cease growing in adulthood, but they can still change shape.
It’s especially important, of course, to have your feet professionally measured during childhood and teenage years when they are continually growing and changing shape. Sudden growth spurts can mean your adolescent son goes through several different sized sneakers just in the space of six months! However, even as adults, when our feet have ceased to grow, they can still actually change shape as we mature and especially if we also gain and lose weight.
How To Know You’re Getting A Good Fitting Shoe
Let’s take a look now at some factors we recommend you consider before you invest in your next pair of new boots or shoes. Even the most stylish, expensive, and seemingly comfortable shoes can exacerbate any existing foot conditions or lead to adverse conditions if they don’t fit correctly. You surely want to stop conditions like bunions from growing or appearing, don’t you. Improper fitting shoes, even if they are on sale at such an amazing discount price you find it hard to resist grabbing them, will cause you nothing but trouble! It doesn’t matter how much of a steal those designer leather Chelsea boots might be if they’re not your size! Here are our top ten tips to ensure that you find properly fitting shoes for you.
1. Measure Your Foot At Home
It’s an excellent idea to pre-measure your foot at home so that it can save you time in the store and minimize the risk of buying a pair which don’t fit and you subsequently end up having to return. To do this, you’re going to need to trace your foot so that you can then use that outline to check that the shoes aren’t narrower or shorter than your actual foot is. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Simply place your foot firmly on top of the paper and draw an outline of your foot all the way around. You can even wear the same socks that you intend wearing with your new shoes to really ensure the best possible fit. Next, use a ruler to then measure out the actual width and length of your feet so that you also have that as an additional handy measurement. It’s these measurements which will predominantly determine which size shoes are correct for you. This is especially useful if you are considering purchasing shoes online and don’t have the opportunity to try them on beforehand, so it’s important to know the footwear terminology. Most manufacturers should list out their standard shoe sizes in both inches and centimeters.
2. Try Shoes On Later In The Day
Our feet naturally expand during the day as they get warmer, so never buy shoes first thing in the morning but instead wait until the afternoon. That way you can be sure that your feet have expanded to their maximum and you won’t end up buying a pair of shoes that are too tight.
3. Pay Attention To The Socks You Are Wearing
If you are buying a pair of winter or steel toe cap boots and you know you will be wearing them with thicker style woolen socks, then wear these when you go into the shop to try them on. The thickness of the socks you are wearing will absolutely affect the final fit and form of your shoes, so make sure that you have appropriate socks with you before trying on any new shoes or boots.
4. Get Your Feet Professionally Measured
Since you’ve taken the time to head into a shoe store, why not take advantage of the free professional measuring service that should be on offer? Get the salesperson to correctly check the size of your feet to make sure that they’ve not changed since the last time you purchased new footwear. With age, our feet can get wider and sometimes change shape with one foot becoming bigger than the other. It’s important, therefore to ensure that you have both feet measured independently and not just the one.
5. Don’t Just Sit In The Shoes – Stand Up And Check For Wriggle Room
You really won’t have a clue how well the shoes fit until you get up and move about in them. You need to ensure that they provide enough wriggle room. As a general rule of thumb, when you press down gently on the top of your shoe, you should have a functional half inch space between the end of the shoe and your longest toe.
6. Walk Around The Shop To Determine How Comfortable They Feel
Get up and have a good walk around. The fit of a shoe is about more than just the length. Are they wide enough to comfortably accommodate your splayed foot? Are they snug and supportive around the heel counter, or do they pinch? Don’t rationalize the purchase of an ill-fitting shoe on the basis that you can break them in at home later. If they don’t fit correctly now, even when the leather has been broken in, they will still be the wrong size.
7. Go With What Feels Right To You
So what if the manufacturer says these are a comfortable pair of shoes in a regular size nine? If they don’t fit you and don’t feel right, go with your instinct. Different brands can sometimes have slightly different sizing charts, so it always pays to try them on and be your own judge of what’s comfortable to not.
8. Consider The Width And Not Just The Length
There’s nothing worse than the balls of your feet aching or your toes feeling pinched because you’ve tried to fit your wide foot into a narrow shoe. Going up a half size won’t necessarily fix the problem either. Consider instead buying a pair of shoes in a slightly wider breadth or style to accommodate the physical shape of your feet. It may well be that you’re never going to be able to wear a pair of winkle pickers!
9. Check The Insides Of The Shoes For Any Potential Tags Or Seams That Might Cause Discomfort
We recommend that you also feel inside of the shoes for seams, tags, or extra bits of material which might contribute to making the shoe feel uncomfortable over time and cause chafing or blisters.
10. Finally, Flip The Shoes Over And Take A Good Look At The Soles
Do they offer ample protection? Are they sturdy and supportive enough for your needs? Are they able to provide enough grip, traction, comfortable cushioning, and flex? If you can, try walking both on carpet as well as a hard surface just to check for the fit and feel over different surfaces.
If you follow these top 10 tips, then you should have no problem selecting your next pair of comfortable and correctly fitting shoes.