How to Find the Best Pair of Shoes

Apr 01, 2024
How to Find the Best Pair of Shoes
Sure, you want your shoes to look good — but if all you think about is fashion, you’re almost certain to suffer from foot pain and other problems. Instead, focus on these eight tips to ensure your chosen shoes are best for your needs.

Ill-fitting footwear isn’t just painful — it can cause significant problems with your feet, knees, and lower back. In this post, Joel S Segalman, FACFAS, FACFAO, and Stephen Lazaroff, DPM, FACFAS, offer eight tips to help patients at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC, select the best shoes to suit their needs and keep their feet healthy.

1. Start with an evaluation

If you’re serious about foot health and maintaining your active lifestyle, having a foot evaluation is a great way to ensure your shoes suit your unique needs. Not only can an evaluation identify potential problems with your feet, like developing bunions or nerve issues, but it also uses gait evaluation to identify areas of uneven strain or imbalance that could lead to problems in the future.

2. Consider your sport

Different activities engage your feet and ankles in various ways. Choosing shoes designed specifically for your sport ensures you get the support and cushioning you need to prevent falls and other accidents, avoid muscle and joint strain, and even enhance your performance.

3. Do not skimp on materials

You don’t need to pay a high price for solid footwear. But you shouldn’t pick shoes based on the lowest price, either. Opt for shoes with material designed to last through the rigors of repeated use so you feel confident they give you both the support and comfort you need.

4. Have a professional fitting

Sure, you can order shoes online, and if you have a brand you like, it’s tempting to skip the trip to the shoe store. But buying your shoes in person at a store specializing in athletic footwear means you also get a professional fitting for optimal comfort. It also allows you to ask questions about your shoes and to try on other brands that might suit you better.

5. Time your fitting

Your feet can swell as the day progresses — especially after standing or physical activity. Schedule your fitting at the end of the day for the most accurate fit.

6. Re-lace the shoes

When trying on shoes, take the time to un-lace them and re-lace them to make sure the pressure applied to your feet is even across the uppers. Shoes right out of the box often get laced unevenly, making it harder to find a true fit.

7. Move around

Walk back and forth — maybe even run a few feet — to see how the shoes move. The heel should be secure without any sign of pinching or slippage, and the shoes should flex with your feet while still providing ample arch support.

8. Do the “wiggle test”

Once those shoes are on your feet, you should wiggle your toes to check for tightness. A too-tight toe area can lead to bunions, corns, calluses, and other painful problems. Make sure there’s about a thumb’s width between the end of your toes and the end of the shoe before you buy — don’t assume they’ll be comfortable once they’re “broken in.”

Choosing the right shoes can help you keep your feet comfortable and healthy, and proper foot care can, too. If you have problems with your feet or ankles, request an appointment online or over the phone with the Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists team in Waterbury and Newtown, Connecticut, today.