Most of us like shoes that look good. However, should this be at the risk of comfort and injury? There are many styles of shoes that not only look good but also they feel good. It is not necessary to give up one for the other.
What To Look For
When trying shoes on wiggle the toes to check for freedom of movement. If you notice any discomfort try a larger size because the pain will only get worse. Remember to check the sole for flexibility by bending the shoe. If the sole is rigid and does not move with you, this could be a prescription for latter discomfort resulting in painful feet.
If you are standing on your feet all day then shoe comfort can really a big issue. Feet will spread more when standing than sitting. Arch support and adequate toe room are very important. You can easily check support by placing your hand inside the shoe and checking for padding in vital areas like the heel, balls of the feet and arches.
When it comes to shoes, there is no such thing as one size fits all. Depending on the breadth of your feet, you can buy the same size shoe in wider or narrower widths. Women's' widths run from AA (narrow) to EE (extra wide). Parallel sizes for men are BB (narrow) to EEEE (extra wide).
If you have flat feet then proper arch support is necessary to avoid foot pain. The better shoemakers will include some form of arch support. If additional support is desired then these may also be purchased in the form of partial or full sole inserts for added comfort.
Like a car shoes have shock absorbers to prevent your feet from feeling the total impact of the bumps in the road. Full size insoles with proper cushioning will protect multiple pressure points and reduce injuries.
Preventing ulceration of the feet due to excessive rubbing of the shoes can become a major concern if you have diabetes. Because of loss of sensation in the extremities, a diabetic may be unaware of blisters on the feet. Custom fitted shoes may be the best solution if over the counter products are not working.
If your feet tend to swell, then you may want to consider buying shoes a size larger to reduce any discomfort and tightness after feet have swollen.
Walking In Your Shoes
When trying on new pair of shoes do not forget walk around the shoe store to get a sense of how they will feel once purchased.
Shoe materials like suede and leather provide not only more flexibility but comfort because the material is able to conform to the shape of the foot and exert less resistance in sensitive areas.
Narrow toed and high-heeled shoes if worn to excess can eventually cause injuries to the ankles, calves, toes, back and knees. High-heeled shoes have been known to distribute weight unevenly causing extra pressure on the ball and front of the foot. Conditions such as hammertoes and bunions have been directly attributed to these kinds of shoes. Many podiatrists recommend shoes with a maximum height of no more than 1inch for maximum comfort.
Feet are one of our most precious possessions. Take care of them and they will serve you well for many years to come. Abuse them and pay the price.