breaking in your shoes

Photo credit: 123RF / Leszek Glasner

Have you ever had a Cinderella’s-evil-step-sister moment while shoe shopping? You know what I’m talking about – you try to squeeze your feet into a pair of shoes that are just too small for the size or shape of your feet. But instead of putting the shoes back on the shelve, you convince yourself that you can just break them in. Well, the WalkEZStore is here to tell you that breaking in your shoes is a myth.

Most people believe that breaking in your shoes means your shoes get used to the size and shape of your feet. But we’re here to tell you, it’s actually the opposite. Your feet are the ones getting used to the size and shape of the shoes – and more importantly, the pain caused by shoes that don’t fit correctly.

As Kathy Carandang, the founder of the WalkEZStore, always says, “Any time you experience pain, your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong.” If you ignore the pain, you can injure your feet. New shoes that don’t fit can lead to a variety of foot problems including blisters, abrasions, corns, calluses, bunions, and more. Pain can also cause you to develop chronic problems that affect your ankles, knees, hips and back. In turn, these problems can affect your gait or the way you walk.

To ensure your shoes fit correctly from the start, follow these tips:

  • Have both of your feet measured with a Brannock measuring device at least once year. The size of your feet can change as you age. Also, most people have one foot that’s larger than the other. You should fit your shoes to the largest foot size. By measuring your feet with Brannock device, you’ll make sure you have your right 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 measures from your heel to the ball joint of your foot. Use your arch length as your reference point when choosing a size. Foot width is the width across the ball of your foot from your first to your fifth metatarsal joints.
  • Try on shoes after 3 p.m. when your feet have had time to swell. Your feet can be half a size larger in width by the end of the day, compared to the morning.
  • Select shoes that conform to the natural shape of your foot. If you have a slender, tapered feet, choose shoes with a tapered-toe-box shape. If you have broader feet, choose shoes with a square toe box.
  • Try on both shoes. Don’t rely on the sizes marked on the box or inside the shoe. See how the shoes fit and feel on your feet.
  • Diagram BEnsure the arch of the shoe and the ball joint of your foot are properly aligned for correct foot and shoe flexion. The ball of your foot should fit snugly, but comfortably, in the cradle or ball joint area of your shoe. Your foot and the shoe should bend at the same location. Refer to the arrows in the diagram to the right.
  • Check to see if the shoe bends easily. Using both hands, bend the toe portion of the shoe toward the back of the shoe. If it bends easily, the shoe will likely fit more comfortably from the start.
  • Walk around in both shoes to ensure they fit and feel comfortable. You should have 3/8” to ½” of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. You should experience little-to-no sliding of your foot within the shoe or heel slippage.
  • Don’t ignore any pain. If you feel pain while trying on the shoes, don’t buy them. Shoes should be comfortable from the start. As we’ve said, breaking in your shoes is a myth. Don’t think you can break them in at home.
  • Refer to the WalkEZStore’s Shoe Fitting Guide for more information. Our guide includes information on foot measurements, shoe sizing and how to obtain a proper shoe fit.
  • If you have foot problems, schedule a professional shoe fitting appointment with Kathy Carandang, a certified pedorthist. A thorough shoe fitting and buying consultation may take about an hour.
  • Correct foot conditions or gait issues with ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics. The WalkEZStore’s custom-made, biomechanically designed custom orthotics can realign your body while 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 wear, ezWalker® Custom Orthotics can help you maintain all-day comfort and pain relief. Order your ezWalker®  Custom Fit Orthotics today. Because when you put ezWalker® Custom Orthotics in your shoes, we guarantee you’ll have a smile on your face.

Don’t fall for the myth of breaking in your shoes after you buy them. Chances are if they don’t fit in the store, they’re never going to fit well later. So why endure the pain in the first place?

Why buy WalkEZStore custom orthotics? Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good!®

Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.