3 Tips for Choosing Comfortable Shoes
Choosing comfortable shoes that fit properly is important for avoiding pain, discomfort, and foot problems. Here are three key tips for choosing the right pair of shoes:
The best time of the day to shop is after work, or one you have been on your feet all day. At this point, your feet should be as tired and swollen as they'll get, and you'll want a shoe that will still fit.
Most people buy shoes that are at least a half size too small. The most important thing is that the widest part of your foot sits in the widest part of the shoe: across the ball of the foot. If you have an old pair of shoes around, take the insert out and look at the imprint of your foot. How many toes can you count? You should be able to see at least four toes (it's ok if your little toe doesn't make much of a mark).
As far as the structure of the shoe, there are three important places to check. First, squeeze the heel. It shouldn't collapse. Second, bend the shoe. It should only flex through the widest part of the shoe (near the ball of the foot) and only a little (not as much as 45°). Finally, give the shoe a twist. It should be relatively stiff. If the shoe twists too much through the midsole, it's not cut out to support your foot.
Michael Corcoran, DPM, FACFAS, is a podiatric surgeon and podiatrist. He sees patients at SwedishAmerican's Brookside Specialty Center in Rockford and Belvidere Clinic in Boone County. Dr. Corcoran is a native of Rockford and graduated from Boylan High School. He has a special interest in total ankle replacement, flatfoot reconstruction and rear- and forefoot reconstruction.