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  • Dr. Thomas

The Biggest Mistake When Buying Shoes

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Oscar Wilde said it best: “be mindful of what you put between you and the earth". Always buy the best tires, sheets, and shoes.” Despite wearing them every day, we often fail to select the right shoe for our body type. This can lead to instability and create foot, knee, or even back pain. Here are some quick tips you can use when selecting the perfect shoe for you:

1. Take out the insole and see if it matches the shape of your foot. If possible, find an insole that matches the angle of your toes to prevent crowding and increase comfort. Making sure the insole is the right width is also key (verify the insole does not stick out too far on the sides or fall too far under the foot). If you are someone who wears orthotics, bring them shoe shopping with you to see how they change the fit of the shoe

2. Look at your old shoe and your foot and identify wear patterns. If there are places the tread has worn smooth this can indicate pressure points or imbalances. Marks on your foot such as bunions can help indicate the spots where your old shoes were too tight. Remember that shoes can wear out as well and lose support. Ideally shoes should be replaced every 6-months to 1-year depending on weight and activity levels.

3. Buy the right length of shoe. Choose a shoe size that provides an extra quarter to half an inch of space at the end of the big toe. Shoes that are too short can cause blisters or compress a long second toe, which can lead to hammertoe (see image below).

4. Check the heel. Ensure that it is not loose on the sides or rub against your ankle. It is also important to choose a shoe according to your sex. Shoe manufactures will often design the shoes to meet the general anatomical differences between men and women. This means men’s shoes will be wider creating a lose fit for women who buy a shoe that was designed for men. It is also important to check the shoes with the type of socks you will be primarily wearing in them as this can change the fit.

5. Check the laces. Your laces should be roughly two finger widths apart. If the shoe is too wide for you, the laces will be too close and if the shoe is to narrow, they will be stretched apart.

So, whether you are following the advice of your Chiropractor or Oscar Wilde take some time to get yourself into the right shoes.

For more tips or to have your feet/shoes assessed book an appointment today:

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