Buying the right shoes is an investment in foot health, but how do you know what fits properly and provides proper support?

You can start off by looking at your own feet and what you already have in your closet. Stand on a blank piece of paper or cardboard and trace the shape of each foot. Now take your shoes and place them on top of the drawing. Your shoes should closely match the shape of your foot. Check to see if the shoe is narrower or shorter than your foot. The shoes that do not match the shape of your foot should be replaced.

When you’re ready to buy new shoes, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  1. Buy your shoes in the afternoon – feet expand throughout the day and with hot weather.

  2. Wear the same type of socks you intend to wear with the specific shoes you are buying. If you wear orthotics, bring them with you.

  3. Feet are not identical. Always buy the shoe that fits the larger or wider foot.

  4. Stand in the shoes to ensure that you have about 1 centimetre of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

  5. Walk around the store and ask yourself these questions. Is there enough room at the balls of the feet? Do the heels fit snugly, or do they pinch or slip off? Walk on hard surfaces as well as carpet to see how they feel. Do the soles cushion against impact? Don’t assume the shoes will stretch and just need to be broken in. Find shoes that fit comfortably from the start.

  6. Feel the inside of the shoes to see if they have any tags, seams or other materials that may irritate your feet or cause blisters.

  7. Examine the soles of the shoes and ask yourself these questions. Are the shoes sturdy enough to provide protection from sharp objects? Do they provide any cushioning?

For more information on how to improve foot health and comfort, visit a health care professional.

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