When you go shopping, you often buy items because they “fit your eyes” first. That is, you like the style of the piece of clothing or footwear first. But you really need to try on the item to tell if it fits well. For example, you may buy a pair of jeans because you like the style. But if you don’t try them on first, you may find that they’re too tight causing your discomfort whenever you sit or bend over in them.
Well, shoes can be the same way. If you buy a pair of shoes without trying them on first, you may find that they’re too tight in the toe box, causing you pain. Therefore, you need to make sure your shoes fit your feet properly first before you buy them. Because when it comes to your feet’s health, your shoes must be comfortable and encourage proper biomechanical function. Because function is motion, and proper motion is health.
Therefore, to ensure you’re properly fitting your shoes, here are some tips to follow:
- Have your feet measured at least once a year. The size of your feet can change as you grow older.
- Measure your feet and try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest due to swelling.
- Wear socks when measuring your feet and trying on shoes. But wear the socks you plan to wear with the shoes you’re trying on, such as nylons for dress shoes and thicker socks for athletic shoes. The sock weight plays a large role in how the shoe fits.
- Have your feet measured with a Brannock measuring device to ensure you have the correct toe length, arch length and foot width. Toe length is the total length of your foot from your heel to your longest toe. Arch length is the measurement from your heel to the ball joint (1st metatarsal joint) of your foot. Foot width is the width across the ball of your foot from the 1st to the 5th metatarsal joints that determines how narrow or wide your shoe fit should be.
- Have both feet measured. Most people have one foot that is larger than the other, so fit your shoes to the largest foot. The smaller foot’s shoe may be altered to assure proper fit.
- Your arch length is your reference point when choosing a size. In correctly fitted shoes, the arch of the shoe and the ball joint of the foot will be properly aligned. (This diagram shows a properly fitted shoe for correct foot and shoe flexion.) The ball of your foot should fit snugly, but comfortably, in the ball joint area (sometimes referred to as the cradle) of your shoe. Your foot and shoe should bend at the same location. And your arch should be fully supported. Shoes that are improperly fitted and too short for the arch length will confine your toes and cause foot discomfort and fatigue. This also can contibute to an improper gait.
- Select shoes that conform to the natural shape of your foot. Shoes with a tapered-toe-box shape work well on slender, tapered feet. Shoes with a square toe box fit better on broader feet.
- Try on both shoes to determine how the shoes fit and feel on your feet. Don’t rely on the sizes marked on the box or inside the shoe. Shoe sizes can vary by manufacturer, brand, and style.
- Stand and walk around in both shoes to make sure they fit and feel comfortable. There should be 3/8” to 1/2” of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. You should be able to wiggle your toes in the shoes.
- Check for foot sliding and slipping within the shoe, when walking. If the shoe is properly fitted, your foot will feel more secure with little to no sliding within the shoe or heel slippage.
- Don’t buy shoes that are too tight and expect them to stretch to fit your feet later. They probably won’t.
- Visit a certified pedorthist for a professional, personalized shoe fitting if you have any foot problems. A thorough shoe fitting and buying consultation may take up to 1 hour.
- If you have foot conditions or gait issues, you may want to purchase ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotics for your shoes. Custom-made, biomechanically designed arch supports, like the ezWalker® Custom Orthotics, can realign your body by providing your feet with a proper foundation in your shoes. Customized orthotic support also helps reduce or eliminate foot pain. No matter what type of shoes you need to wear, there is an ezWalker® Custom Orthotic to help you maintain all-day comfort and pain relief. Order your ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic today.
- Refer to the Shoe Fitting Guide at the WalkEzStore for more information on foot measurements, shoe sizing, and how to obtain a proper shoe fit – especially with ezWalker® Custom Orthotics.
Put an ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic in your shoes and put a smile on your face. Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good!