Our Wichita Podiatrist’s Recommendations for Finding the Right Shoes

Wearing uncomfortable, ill-fitting, or lesser-quality footwear leads to numerous foot and ankle problems, as well as foot injuries and even deformities over time. And if you’re trying to manage diabetes, buying shoes and getting the right fit is even more important to your overall health. At Central Kansas Podiatry Associates, we’re eager to provide the information you need to make the best health choices, so here’s a checklist for choosing proper footwear. 

Buying Shoes: 7 Tips to Consider

High-quality, supportive, and durable shoes are always worth the investment. Here’s what we recommend.

  1. Never buy a shoe based on looks alone. Brand, design, style, and color should come second to a proper, comfortable fit.
  2. Heel heights of one inch or less or flat shoes are best for your feet. If you want a pair of stylish heels, make sure they’re no more than two inches high and avoid wearing them for longer than three hours. The higher the heel, the greater the pressure on the forefoot. The heel counter should be padded on the inside and rigid on the outside.
  3. Avoid shoes with narrow or pointed toe boxes that squeeze and put pressure on the toes.
  4. Soles should have a good tread to avoid slips and falls. They should also be shock absorbent. Although rubber soles are best, thick rubber soles that extend beyond the tip of the toe box can cause accidental falls if they catch on something while you’re walking.
  5. Uppers should be made of soft, breathable material that offers unrestricted movement.
  6. Inside the shoe, make sure there are no raised seams that can cause friction and irritation, especially if they rub against problem areas like bunions or corns.
  7. Laced shoes provide the best fit and support as opposed to slip-on footwear.

Buying Shoes: 8 Tips for Getting the Right Fit

To ensure a proper fit, here’s our advice. 

  1. Since most people have feet sized differently, make sure both of them are measured and the shoe size accommodates the larger of the two feet.
  2. Shoe size varies from brand to brand, as well as from style to style. Make sure you go by how a shoe fits your foot and not just the size marked on the shoe.
  3. It’s best to try on shoes at the end of the day when feet are swollen and larger from a day of activity.
  4. All types of footwear should fit comfortably from the start. If shoes are too tight, don’t think they will fit better after a “break-in period”—this is a myth.
  5. There should be a half-inch of space between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe’s toe box, which is about the width of an adult’s thumb. The toes should have enough wiggle room to move around without restriction.
  6. The heel of the shoe should fit snugly so the heel does not slip out when walking.
  7. Try on shoes with the socks that you actually wear.
  8. Walk around the store several times to make sure the shoes fit properly while in motion. Then, check your feet for any redness that could indicate rubbing or pressure.

If you’re uncertain about the state of your shoes, schedule a foot checkup and we’ll make an assessment of your footwear to determine if it’s contributing to certain issues.

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