Shoe shopping can be a painful experience; especially when shoe size means nothing store to store, as every store seems to work from a different template. As we get older the thought of constricting our feet into shoes that are no good is just too much to bear. To find the best fit every time, we share 5 tips to help make shoe shopping a breeze.
Take a template
Before heading off to the shops on a piece of paper and draw around your entire foot. When in store test the shoes against the paper before putting them on your feet. If they’re not wide or long enough, don’t even bother giving it a go. Always allow about a ½ an inch between the top of your toes and the end of the shoe. It’ll save you a lot of time and potentially discomfort.
It’s not a job for the morning
Your feet swell. So, going shoe shopping in the morning is less than ideal as it won’t give you a realistic expectation of fit. Additionally, always take socks that are as thick as you intend to wear with the shoe.
Flexibility for comfort
An important aspect of the shoe is how flexible it is. If there is no movement, the chances are it’s not going to be the most comfortable shoe.
Holding the heel and toe of the shoe attempt to twist it from side to side and up and down- you want some resistance, too much give and they’ll not give you the support you need.
Consider any heel padding in your analysis, if there is no cushioning or groove for your Achilles tendon or there’s simply no movement in the material, they’ll not serve you well.
Wherever possible always go for a shoe in suede, leather or in fabrics that promote breathability. These materials are more likely to move with you, stretching slightly in time and are also less likely to cause blisters or long-term foot problems.
Additionally, you want soles that are made of rubber or leather for optimum comfort.
Adjusting for perfect fit
Without shoes being personally made, you’re unlikely to find a perfect fit. But there are ways to make sure it does.
Break them in…
If you plan on a lot of walking, standing or moving about, you want to make sure the shoes have moulded to your feet. You can do this by making sure you break them in. Do this by wearing them around the house in slightly thicker socks than you intend to wear.
Insoles and cushions….
Additionally, kitting your shoes out with some appropriate insoles or cushions will help make an enormous difference to fit and feel. Be careful though that the insoles you buy are not stretching them in a bad way (making them wider for example).
Don’t ever go down a size as this can cause all sorts of problems even if they only feel slightly tight. Additionally, you don’t want anything too large as they’ll only fall off your feet and no amount of cushioning or insoles is going to make it fit.
Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Leave us a comment in the box below.