The Importance of a Proper Shoe Fit

Choosing the right pair of shoes to wear on a regular basis can help ensure the long-term health of your feet, as well as your entire body. The best fit for you depends on your daily use, but nothing is more important than comfort. Not only do ill-fitting shoes make you uncomfortable all day, but they can also cause foot pain or aggravate pre-existing conditions.

While comfort is the priority when you’re looking for new shoes, there are a few other things to consider as well:

  • Try shoes on in the afternoon – Your feet swell slightly throughout the day, so trying shoes on in the afternoon when they are bigger will help you find a more accurate size.
  • Not too small, not too big – Shoes that are too big or too small can cause unwanted rubbing and blisters. Find a shoe that gives your toes room to wiggle, but does not allow your foot to slide around.
  • Don’t fixate on size – Just because you’re a size 9 in one brand, doesn’t mean every shoe brand will fit the same. Shoe sizes can vary among manufacturers, which is why it’s important to try on every new pair of shoes and make sure they fit well.
  • Wear the right socks – If you are buying running shoes, wear the kind of sock you would use running when you try the shoes on. That way, you’ll get a better idea of how it will fit during the activity you are buying them for.
  • Don’t worry about breaking shoes in – If a shoe isn’t comfortable to begin with, it’s never going to be.

Proper shoe fit is particularly important if you are diabetic since improper shoe fit can cause blisters and sores that can become serious if not found and treated quickly. If you do have diabetes or a foot problem like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or hammer toe, custom orthotics can be used to make your shoe more comfortable. If you are experiencing foot pain or have any concerns, talk to your primary care physician, and he or she can refer you to a specialist if necessary. Our community is fortunate as Cone Health has an exceptional network of orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, and other healthcare providers dedicated to educating individuals about proper footwear, and caring for patients with foot problems or conditions.

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