Purchasing the proper footwear is an investment in your feet’s health. But how can you discover ones that are both comfortable and supportive?
Begin with your own feet and what you already have in your closet. Trace the shape of each foot while standing barefoot on a piece of paper or cardboard. Take each of your shoes and arrange them on top of the drawing one by one. Your “comfortable” shoes, if you’re like most people, will roughly resemble the shape of your own feet.
Determine which shoes are causing you pain. If you’re a woman, the most of these will be narrow-toed or high-heeled shoes. Examine the toe of the shoe to check if it is narrower or shorter than your own. To go shoe shopping, wait until the afternoon. During the day, your feet grow naturally and may swell in warmer conditions.
Wear the same style of socks you’ll be wearing with your shoes.
Have both of your feet measured by the salesperson and have your feet measured every time you buy new shoes. If one foot is broader or wider than the other, choose a size that corresponds to the larger foot.
Put your feet in the shoes. Make sure your longest toe and the end of the shoe are apart by at least a quarter- to half-inch.
Take a walk in the shoes to get a sense of how they feel. Don’t try to convince yourself that the shoes merely need to be “broken in” or that they’ll stretch over time.