I am a Certified Pedorthist, and when I consult with customers, I am constantly faced with the problem of improperly fitted footwear. Not only have they never been taught how to properly fit their shoes, the shoes these days have no standards of size. What one company calls a 9 may in deed fit more like an 8, or even a 7.5. Not to mention, it’s hard to find shoes in widths. Medium and wide seem to be the only choice and sometimes medium is it. Let face it if you have hard to fit feet, it’s a nightmare when you go to buy shoes. Sizing shoes is important because improperly fitted shoes can cause or worsen existing foot problems like bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses and even fungal infections. So how do you avoid causing or complicating these and other problems? See 10 tips for a great shoe fit below.
1. Measure your feet with a Brannock device. A Brannock device is the name of the tool used to give you a shoe size reference, toe length, arch length, and finally width. Having a trained professional around to help you measure your feet is a great step in buying shoes. But remember, even this method is fallible, and the person reading the machine must be trained well or a mistake is possible. Even for a trained professional a Brannock will only give a starting point when fitting shoes. All shoes are not created equal. Some brands run true to size, but, run small and some run big. Also, shoe size varies based on manufacturer and style. If you don’t have access to a Brannock device, trace your feet while you stand on a piece of paper with even pressure. You can compare this diagram to the sole of a shoe to get a rough idea if they will be the right size for your foot. This method is only recommended if you do not have a way of taking a true measurement. It is still a good idea to know how a shoe is suppose to fit on your feet to get a good fit. If you learn where your foot should sit inside a shoe from the information here, www.walkezstore.com/shoefittingreferanceguide, you will be on your way to a better shoe fit which will intern help you put your best foot forward, comfortably all day. You still need to try on both shoes before you buy them. If when you put them on, they do not feel comfortable, yet you know your foot is sitting in the right spot in them, the pattern is probably wrong for your shape feet. If it hurts in the store it will hurt when you wear it. Try to buy shoes that fit your feet, not your eyes. However, if they fit your eyes and your feet, buy one in every color.
2. Try on all shoes, both of the shoes. You should try on every pair of shoes you wear. Be sure to try on shoes the way you would wear them: lace and tie them completely, put on the kind of socks you would wear with those shoes, and wear any orthotics or other corrective ankle/foot braces when trying them on. You need to know how your shoes will fit every day, which means trying them on in real scenarios. Do not assume because you have shoes from that manufacturer already that these new shoes will fit the same. Even among the same manufacturer sizes vary from style to style. Your feet can also change over time, and your shoe size along with it. Shoes should fit correctly to the ball of your foot. This means that your big toe joint will need to sit in the correct spot to fit right. This will usually leave about a half inch from your longest toe (which for some people is the second toe and not the big toe) to the end of the shoe, and they should have enough width for your toes to fit comfortably without pressure. I tell people, if you feel like you could play the piano with your toes you probably have good fit. For visual reference go to www.walkezstore.com/shoefittingreferanceguide. Scroll down and reference picture B. Be sure to actually try on both shoes.
3. Buy shoes in the afternoon or evening. As the day progresses, your feet may swell as more of your blood flow concentrates into your legs and feet. This is natural, and how your body’s fluids are distributed as you spend more of the day upright. This helps you buy shoes that are the correct size for you at all times of the day. If you have to shop for shoes in the morning, remember a tight shoe in the morning, may be a shoe you can’t even get on in the afternoon.
4. Take a walk. Walking around the store in a new pair of shoes will give you a better idea if you would like to buy them or not. Lace and tie them completely and move around the store. Pay attention to places where the shoes rub or feel uncomfortable. These may lead to issues over time. You can also tell if there will be tight spots anywhere on the shoes. Do not assume that the shoes will stretch out, in most cases they won’t stretch on their own. If you have problems with bunions, a special tool called a ball and ring stretcher is good to use in the area needing to be stretched. You should try to buy shoes that are already comfortable and that fit well. This will prevent blisters and other problems. Do not assume that you need to “break in” your new shoes. Some shoes are already soft and will not require a break in period and others that are more sturdy and supportive may require a break in period. It will depend on the shoes and your feet. Try to simulate some of the movement you will be doing in those shoes. If they are basketball shoes, do some jumping in place; for cross trainers, try some lateral motion and so on.
5. Keep use in mind. You have different shoes for different purposes: exercising, work, casual and going out. Think about the demands an activity has on your feet and what this requires of your shoes. You would not buy high heels to go to the gym. Making sure you are using the right shoe for an activity will keep your feet healthier in the long run. If the shoes you are looking at do not meet the needs for the activity, do not buy them. Find another pair which will meet the demands of your lifestyle and activity. You should also rotate your shoes. If you need to wear a special type of shoes for your job everyday, it is advised you have 2 pair, and rotate them daily. This will assure one pair a good drying out time between wearings. We all know what grows in dark damp places. Sure you need nice shoes for certain times, but give your feet support with an ezWalker Custom Orthotic Insole, and comfort with an athletic shoe when exercising or doing house work. Remember that although high heels are fun and good looking, they should not be worn without the proper support an ezWalker Custom Orthotic Insole, as high heels can be quite bad for your feet. High heels put undue stress on the metatarsals and extra support is needed to guard against excessive pressure on the ball of the foot. Also, high heels usually have a tapered toe box and the forefoot can get squeezed. This can cause a condition called Morton’s Neuroma. This is very painful and over time may get so severe, surgery is the only answer to the problem. So choose your footwear wisely. Avoid problems caused from improperly fitted and supported shoes with the right type and size and for ALL your shoes, don’t forget the ezWalker Custom Orthotic Insole designed to bio mechanically enhance the way you walk, no matter what your wearing.
6. Don’t get over-committed. Just because you like a shoe’s style, color, etc. is not a good reason to buy it. Buying shoes is fun and exciting, but getting carried away will not help your foot health. If you buy the shoes you love, but they don’t fit right, you will be disappointed. They will cause pain and discomfort, and you will not want to wear them. Not only could they damage your feet, but now you have shoes that you don’t or can’t wear, taking up space in your closet and costing you money. Ask the clerk for a different size or even if they can order a pair in the size you need. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the right size or even try to order the shoe in the right size online. You will be happier with shoes that fit you eyes when they also fit you feet properly. If you have hard to fit feet, ie. narrow or extra wide feet, you may want to learn how to alter your shoes for a better fit. The experts at www.walkezstore.com can help you learn how, or will simply do it for you. Narrow shoes are hard to find. A person with a narrow foot will usually go smaller to get a better width fit. This will compromise the length fit and the short shoes will through off proper balance to the foot, and the entire body will feel the effects over time. It is best to make sure the length fit is correct and alter the shoe accordingly for a better width fit. A proper shoe fit, whether it’s factory or altered, along with the proper bio mechanical ezWalker Custom Orthotic Insole for the foot is vital to all day comfort.
7. Ordering online. Ordering shoes online can help you save time, money and increase the selection of shoes you have to choose from. But when you order shoes online, you cannot try them on before you purchase them. When ordering off the Internet, you may want to stick to manufacturers that your know, or you could use http://www.endless.com/?&tag=walkezstoreco. Here, you will never pay for shipping, so you can order as many as you like, send back as many as you like, and Endless.com will cover the shipping, and they usually come overnight, that’s nice. Endless has over 500 brands with over 15,000 styles to choose from. If the shoes do not fit correctly or you simply don’t like them once you get them, Endless.com makes the return/exchange process very easy. You simply go into the return department under customer service and create your return shipping label and take it to the UPS store or call for a pick up. You are also entrusting the Internet Company, whether it’s Endless.com or another company, with your credit card or other payment information. Working through an established manufacturer or distributor is the best way to ensure that you receive excellent customer service. I can highly recommend http://www.endless.com/?&tag=walkezstoreco as my personal experience has been excellent. No matter what Internet Company you use, make sure the shoes you buy fit correctly when you receive them . If not, check the return policy so you can return them promptly and before any return deadline. However, Endless.com has a excellent service and their return policy is 100% money back 365 days a year, can’t be beat. www. http://www.endless.com/?&tag=walkezstoreco is my #1 choice for online footwear. Their customer service is unbeatable.
8. Special interests. There are certain groups who have special interests when it comes to purchasing shoes. Anyone who needs a thick medical orthotic, brace or other medical supportive devices needs to keep this in mind when buying shoes. The device and your foot needs to be able to fit comfortably in your shoes. Patients with conditions like bad bunions, corns, bad calluses and hammer toes may find shoes uncomfortable and need to adjust to a larger or wider size to accommodate depending on the severity of these conditions. If you are prone to recurring ingrown toenails, you should evaluate your shoe fit carefully. Adequate room will help reduce the recurrence of ingrown toenails. People with certain arthritic conditions, diabetics, or others with neuropathy or reduced circulation issues, may need to consider a more therapeutic type shoe. These shoes are specially designed to help your feet, meet a high set of standards in materials used, and can usually be modified if needed. They leave extra depth for full length custom orthotics and other inserts and have a larger toe box to allow adequate room for your toes. This will help prevent you from getting problems like blisters and ulcers which take longer to heal in patients with poor circulation. That being said, just because you have one of these conditions doesn’t mean you need therapeutic shoes. If you have relatively healthy feet, The ezWalker Custom Orthotic from www.walkezstore.com may be your ticket to better comfort for all the shoes you already own. As long as your shoes fit properly, an ezWalker will enhance the performance of that ordinary shoe and turn it into an extraordinary shoe. And The Walkezstore.com boasts a 90 day 100% money back guarantee if your not satisfied too. You’ve go nothing to loose but your pain and every day comfort to gain with an ezWalker Custom Orthotic Insert. from www.Walkezstore.com.
9. Shoes are an expression of your style. The should always compliment your outfit. So here’s the best way to complete your look. Start from the bottom up when shopping for a new clothes. Find a great pair of comfortable shoes and then build the outfit around them. Most people do it the other way around and then have a hard time finding the right shoes for the outfit. If you start with a great pair of shoes and build from there, you will be much happier with the end results. I recommend a good classic black shoe, not too trendy so it won’t go out of style, as well as a brown pair. If you want some fun colors, you can go for a great dark red pair of shoes. This color is usually good to wear with lots of bright colors. Also a nice tan color will go with all neutral colors in your wardrobe. And finally, the classic hard to find navy blue. Navy seems to be making a come back this season, so I suggest you get ’em while their hot. What ever color you choose, be sure it fits well. There’s nothing worse than sacrificing comfort for style. Remember an ezWalker Custom Orthotic Insole in all your shoes, no matter what color they are, will give you all day comfort while staying in style.
10. And finally, take care of your shoes and they will take care of you. If you are wearing lace up shoes, un-tie them when taking them off and especially tie them up properly when putting them on. This will keep the counter of the shoe in much better shape. When you slip them on without untying, (or even a slip on shoe), you’ll buckle the counter or the heel of the shoe and break it down. This area will loose it’s shape and strength, and will not support your foot as well. Keep a shoehorn handy and use it. This will keep the counter of your shoes in better shape longer and therefore you won’t have to replace them as often. Also if they are leather, use a leather conditioner or an oil sponge on a regular basis. Leather is like our skin, it needs moisture to stay supple and avoid drying out. When the leather dries out, it will begin to crack and loose luster as well. This simple step of giving your shoes some regular love will keep them loving you back longer.
Please watch for our new newsletter to be released soon. This newsletter, will be a monthly publication aimed at bringing you more education than you can imagine about your feet, your shoes, and how to stay comfortable while staying in style. Remember the ezWalker Custom Orthotic Insoles fit in any type footwear you want to wear, from work shoes to casual/athletic shoes to fashionable dress shoes and even dance shoes. The ezWalker Custom Orthotic Insole can also be made cosmetically correct for sandals of all kinds.
At The Walkezstore.com we want you to stay in style and help your feet to be comfortable in all your everyday shoes as well as your special occasion ones. because….. When your feet feel good you feel good.