When it comes to keeping your feet happy, healthy, and protected against injury, finding the right pair of shoes is more than just a good idea! A good pair of shoes that match your feet with the level of comfort and support they need for the activities you enjoy is a critical. On the flipside, a bad pair of shoes can leave you aching and sore and send you hobbling toward the nearest chair or bench.
Unfortunately, there’s no one perfect pair of shoes that’s going to be the right fit for everybody. In fact, even for a single person, the right shoe for walking or working isn’t necessarily going to be ideal for a run, basketball game, or tennis match. That’s because different activities place different kinds of stresses on your feet and ankles, and the type of shoes you wear can respond differently to changing needs.
Still, there are some general guidelines that will serve you well on your quest to find the perfect shoe for you:
- In most cases, a comfy pair of walking shoes is going to serve you best for your everyday activities: walking, standing, doing chores, and performing light exercise.
- Always measure BOTH feet each time you shop, paying attention not just to length but width as well. Shoes that are too narrow or too wide are one of the most common sources of blisters and calluses. If left and right are slightly different size-wise, make sure your shoes accommodate the larger foot.
- Make sure the toe box is high enough and wide enough for toes to move comfortably and freely. The front of the shoe should be around a thumb width (roughly half an inch) from the tip of the longest toe.
- Your arch type makes a difference in terms of what features you may choose to select. If you have a low or flat arch, you may need a shoe with a little more motion control and stability in the rearfoot to help with pronation. On the other hand, people with high arches could benefit from more cushioning to improve shock absorption.
- If you’re going to be playing a specific sport or performing a specific athletic activity frequently or vigorously, you need sport-specific shoes. If you try to go for a five-mile run in your walking shoes, not only are you going to destroy your shoes, you’re going to hurt your feet, too!
Still not sure what kind of shoes you should be buying? If foot pain is keeping you from enjoying certain activities, make an appointment with Dr. Sanjay Patel in either Milford or Hamden, CT. Our staff can help you determine what kinds of shoes would be best for your feet and your activities, as well as provide any additional supplementary treatments you may require. To schedule, give us a call at (203) 876-7736 today.