When shopping for shoes, it is important to choose shoes that have durable construction and are a good fit. Don’t select shoes based on fashion alone. The primary purpose of shoes is to protect your feet and prevent injury. Poorly fitted shoes can cause discomfort, injury, and permanent deformity, affecting your whole body, not just your feet.
Knowing the essential components of a shoe and proper fit can help you make sensible shoe purchases. The right shoe cushions and supports the foot, feels comfortable and fits well.
A shoe is composed of different parts:
A shoe that fits well curves in slightly near the arch of the foot and conforms comfortably to the shape of the foot.
The material used to make shoes can also affect fit and comfort. In general, softer materials decrease the amount of pressure a shoe places on the foot, while stiff materials can cause blistering and callus formation.
You should have your foot size measured every 2 years, as the human foot can change size as frequently as every 2 years.
Remember, fashionable shoes can be comfortable as well.
Most men’s shoes conform to the shape of the feet and tend to have a roomy toe box with sufficient horizontal and vertical space and a low heel. If you stand for an extended period, shoes with soft, pliable soles will help keep your feet comfortable.
Low-heeled shoes, generally 1.5 inches or lower with a wide toe box, are ideal. A big toe box can accommodate the foot comfortably.
Wearing high-heeled shoes all the time should be avoided. Heels 2 inches or more with a narrow toe box can adversely affect your feet, knees, and spine. If you need to wear high heels for a special event, switch to lower heel shoes if you have to walk any distance.
Work shoes are generally tailored specifically to a particular occupation and particular needs with protection in the toe box and different soles to protect different levels of traction.
Buy a shoe designed for the sport. The purpose of athletic shoes is to protect the feet from the specific stressors encountered in a given sport and maximize the amount of traction provided by a shoe. For example, tennis shoes are differently constructed from running shoes or cross-trainers.
Keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear in your shoes. You should replace your shoes when the heels begin to wear out. Wearing shoes with worn heels over long periods can cause pain in the leg or back.
Ideally, running shoes should be replaced every 350 to 500 miles because they lose their capacity to absorb shock over time. If you use your running shoes strictly for running, they will last longer. Use your old running shoes for walking.
You can keep your feet pain-free with a good shoe fit. A good fit reduces your chances of developing blisters and other skin irritations, as well as the possibility of injury and permanent deformity.