What your eyes like to see is not necessarily what your feet want to wear. When purchasing a pair of shoes do you let your eyes buy them or your feet? If you let your eyes buy them you may not be getting the shoes that your feet would prefer. If you know how to choose a pair of shoes with your feet in mind first it’s just quite possible your feet and your eyes can both be happy with your purchase. Here are 6 steps to getting a good shoe fit while still letting your eyes make the final purchase.

  1. Most important, know what type of feet you have. It is probably best to see a professional person like a certified pedorthist, one who is trained in proper foot care and understands each foot type and how best to take care of them. However, if you wish to try this on your own here is some information you should know. There are 3 general foot motion types. Pronation, Neutral, or Cavovarus.

Type 1: Pronation Also referred to as a flat foot, hyper-pronated, or one that simply put overpronates.

The pronated foot manifests a flat arch. This foot is turned out, away from the middle of the body. Similarly, the heel is tilted toward the outside of the body as in the picture above.  The pronated foot will experience more stress on the inside of the arch and along the inside of the ankle, as well as the outside of the forefoot and lesser toes causing more fatigue and tiredness in these areas. A number of tendons are overly stressed, which can result in a number of issues. Corrective support is helpful for the health and performance of this foot type.

Type 2: Neutral Between the flat foot and the high arched foot is the neutral arched foot. This type of foot is “standard,” with weight fairly evenly distributed. This is optimal for bearing weight and long-term performance. Orthotic/insole support helps keep this foot healthy in a proactive way. Please note, even a neutral foot can experience problems if not fitted properly in shoes.

Type 3: Pes Cavus Also referred to as high arch, supinated foot, or foot that underpronates.

The pes cavus foot has a very high arch. It has a heel tilted towards the middle of the body, there is more weight bearing on the outside of the foot and heel. The type of foot will experience more stress on the outside of the foot. A person with a cavus foot may have pain, fatigue, and tiredness on the middle and outside edge of the foot. Ankle sprains occur more frequently in a high arched foot. The pes cavus athlete is often a faster runner, but without correction will not be able to pivot as sharply and is vulnerable to stress fractures and injuries that are unique to this foot type. It is important to know your foot type in order to improve your performance, prevent injury, and correct problems.

(Stay tuned for part 2. It’s all about what works for you.)