What Makes a Good Shoe?
Looking to purchase a new pair of shoes and wondering what to look for? There are so many different shoes on the market and finding the right ones can be tricky. That’s where we can help! Here are some simple steps you can follow when looking for new footwear to ensure you get the right shoe for you.
Step 1: Push
Start off by pushing the back ends of your shoes inwards. If the back stays firm, the heel counter is robust and will provide good support and stability to your foot. If the back bends inwards, the heel counter is flexible. This means you have a light-weight training shoe that is meant for activities that don’t require much support or for when you’re only doing short amounts of walking. If you plan on doing large amounts of activity or heavy activity in these shoes, then they are probably unsuitable.
Step 2: Bend
We want your shoe to be flexible where it counts, so give your shoe a bend where your toes go. Your foot naturally bends and flexes at your metatarsal joints, located just behind your toes. Having a shoe that bends here is important not only for your comfort, but for facilitating appropriate muscle activation in this area. The rest of the shoe should stay nice and firm.
Step 3: Twist
To ensure that your foot is well supported and stable, give your shoe a twist through the middle section. You should not be able to twist your shoe through this section, instead it should remain firm. If it does twist and contort, it may mean the shoe is too flexible and will not assist your foot muscles in supporting your body weight.
Step 4: Tie
To ensure all your foot muscles can work properly and without undue stress, make sure your shoes have an appropriate retaining medium such laces, velcro or buckles. If your shoe doesn’t have a securing system, your foot may slide in the shoe and you may jam your toes up the front of the shoe. You may also end up clawing your toes as your foot tries to grip onto the shoe, this can cause damage to your internal foot structures and changes in your skin.
Step 5: The rule of thumb
Making sure your shoes are the correct fit will help to prevent problems with your feet. You should leave one thumb’s width of space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This will allow for a little bit of sliding that can happen when you’re wearing shoes. Remember, your longest toe may not necessarily be your big toe either!
Step 6: Try both feet
Did you know it’s common for one foot to be bigger than the other? When trying new shoes, make sure you always try both feet to ensure a proper fit. Also, try to buy your shoes at the end of the day. Your feet swell and change shape as the day goes on, if you buy at the start of the day the shoes may end up being too tight or too small for you. If you you wear orthoses, make sure these fit comfortably in the shoes too, and again, make sure to try both feet.
Remember these simple steps when buying new footwear and you will be walking on air! If you need any further information on footwear or anything else foot or leg related, just send us a message or call us and I'll be more than happy to explain how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up!
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry