What to Look for in a Shoe
What is the most important characteristic about a shoe or feature of a shoe that you need to look for when you’re purchasing a new pair of shoes?
Is it the colour? Is it the style?
Is it the type of material that it’s made of?
Is the type of sole that it has?
I would argue that the single most important characteristic is how it actually fits your foot. There are a number of different features that cause problems that I see in feet. One of the more common ones that I see is the inability of the shoe to properly fit the forefoot here. So what tends to happen if the shoe is not fitted correctly, or doesn’t fit your foot correctly, is that you will get compression occurring in through the mid-sole or the mid portion of the shoe here.
And so what that will do is it will squeeze the metatarsals, that’s these bits here, squeeze these together, which increases the friction and the irritation of the tissue that sits between these areas. That’s joint capsule, nerve, tendon, ligaments, those sorts of things. So if it’s being squeezed, and it’s being irritated and loaded, it’s more likely to cause a problem. Really important that we let this transverse arch of our feet sit splayed and open and able to work and function effectively.
How do we know what sort of fit is the best for our feet? Generally, we can put the shoes on and if the foot is hanging over the side of the shoe, and is not seated on the actual mid-sole of the shoe, then it is not wide enough for you. If you’re getting a big bulge out the side here, then it’s probably not wide enough for you. There shouldn’t be a lot of compression around the mid foot and forefoot.
The other way is if you know you have a bit of width in your foot, how do you know how to select shoes that have got good width? We have a look at the tongue of the shoe and often you’ll see in the tab here is that it will have the sizing but it will also have the width description. So this one is a wide this one here is also a wide and has it described as a 2E. So it’s a number 12 size and 2E width option. So two different characteristics to look for both the length and the width of the shoe.
The other way to try to help stop purchasing the wrong type of shoe is to get a bit of help from us at Waikato Podiatry or somewhere like the Shoe Clinic, they are skilled at fitting the right sort of shoe to your sort of foot.
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