How well do your shoes fit? Shoes that fit properly help you do the things you enjoy. They provide comfort and improve performance. The can also keep your feet healthy – which means you can stay as active as you want to be. When you buy shoes, keep in mind that they’re more than fashion statements. They have to function according to your needs. Shoes can make your feet feel good and when your feet feel good, you can perform your best. Here are 10 tips to help you select shoes that are right for your feet:

  1. When you shop, have your feet measured- BOTH of them. Feet naturally widen and Lengthen with use, which means foot size changes over the course of a day and a lifetime, depending on activities and age. Also, for most people, one foot is slightly larger than the other, so judge fit by your larger foot.
  2. Remember that shoe sizes are not standard. They vary among brands and styles, so a shoe labeled 8-1/2 by one manufacturer could fit Like an 8, or a 9, from another maker, Look in a size range, and seek advice from store personnel trained to know fitting techniques and shoe brands and characteristics.
  3. Select shoes that conform as nearly as possible to the shape of your foot. So you know what to look for, trace your foot on a piece of paper. Hold the tracing against the sole of a shoe: If the shapes are similar, you’re on the right track.
  4. Choose shoes, that are appropriate for the activity AND the time you perform that activity. For example, if your job involves standing for long periods, shop for work shoes right after work. Shop for exercise shoes as close to your workout time as possible.
  5. Stand during the fitting process and check that there is adequate space (3/8 to l/2″) between your longest toe and the end of each shoe. The foot elongates during walking or running, so it needs extra space. Also, remember that for some people, the longest toe is the second or third toe.
  6. Be sure the ball- or widest part- of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe. This match-up means the shoe will bend where your foot flexes, which will give you the greatest amount of comfort.
  7. Don’t purchase shoes that feel too tight, expecting them to “stretch” after you’ve “broken them in.” A shoe should feel comfortable at the try-on stage. Shoes are generally designed to hold a shape, not to re-form themselves to your foot.
  8. Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimal amount of slippage. It’s impossible to avoid heel slippage completely, because the foot stretches forward and backward during every step; you need enough heel room to accommodate your natural step pattern.
  9. Walk in the shoe to make sure it feels comfortable. You don’t have to go around the block, but take at least 10 steps back and forth on the fitting room floor.
  10. Remember that orthotics affect the size and fit of a shoe. Any kind of shoe insert takes up space intended for the foot; if you wear orthotics, you’ll need a roomier shoe than you’d otherwise need, or the orthotics won’t function properly.

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The Barn disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.