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It’s Gotta Be the Shoes

How to find the best shoes for your feet.

Does your job keep you on your feet for hours at a time? Do your feet or back ache after a long day at work? It may be caused from ill-fitting or non-supportive shoes. Since your feet will travel a distance equal to walking around the globe five times, a little foot pain here and there is expected.

But you can ward off some of the pain and problems by wearing the right shoes. So what should you look for in your next pair of shoes?

If the Shoe Fits

One of the worst things you can do for your feet is to buy uncomfortable shoes in the hope that they’ll break in after a while and feel better. Always buy shoes that feel comfortable the first time you try them on. Otherwise, you can expect pain, corns, or toe infections. And when trying on new shoes, try them on while wearing the same type of sock you will use when wearing the shoes later on. Once you’ve got them on, don’t just stand there. Walk around the store to test the shoe’s comfort. Move like you will when wearing the shoes day to day to make sure they provide the support you need.

Just because a shoe is listed as being your size, remember that different shoes and brands fit differently. In addition, your feet can change their shape and size over time. To make sure your shoe will fit well, get both of your feet measured before buying new shoes. Since your feet probably swell later in the day, do your shoe shopping at that time, so you’ll have plenty of room in your shoes whenever you find yourself wearing them. Well-fitted shoes have a 3/8”-1/2” space left between your biggest toe and the end of the shoe for wiggle room, so make sure you have this much space for optimal comfort.

Children’s

Since children’s feet are constantly growing, have their feet measured while they are standing before buying them new shoes. When shopping for children’s shoes, look for sturdy support around the heel of the shoe, adequate arch support, and a shoe made of flexible material that bends and moves with the child’s foot. Make sure there is a half-inch space of wiggle room for the child’s toes at the end of the shoe and go for shoes that won’t slip off as your child walks. If your child has weak ankles, go with boots or high-tops.

Women’s

It is typically women who buy shoes based on style rather than those that are best for their feet. While this may be fine for now, this can spell pain and other problems in the future. Women should take the following advice into consideration when purchasing shoes:

  • Avoid pointed shoes, as these don’t leave enough room for toes.
  • Avoid wearing high heals. When nothing but heels will do the trick, wear heels two-and-a-quarter inches or lower, and wear them for only a couple hours at a time.
  • Go with shoes that have laces and backs, as they’re the best for feet.
  • Seek a shoe with a polymerized composite sole with good arch support, and a wide, padded heal elevated by at least a quarter inch.

Men’s

The advice for men’s shoes is similar to women’s. Avoid pointed shoes, leave enough room for your toes, seek out arch support and a wide heel, and get shoes that lace up. Oxford-style shoes are some of the best for men’s foot health.

Men who are on their feet all day need to seek shoes with plenty of cushioning. And men who perform industrial work should wear sturdy, waterproof shoes with steel toes.

Athletic

When it comes to athletic shoes, it is best to choose the shoe for your particular sport such as running shoes or tennis shoes. If you only exercise occasionally, cross-trainers are a good option. The important thing to remember about athletic shoes is to make sure they are in good condition and fit well.

Healthy Feet

Not following these tips for good foot health can lead to a long list of foot conditions, including bunions, calluses, corns, bursitis, ingrown toenails, and heel pain. Since you need your feet to be in the best health possible, wear the right shoes each and every day. Your feet will thank you.

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