What Makes for a Foot-Friendly Shoe?

Whether you’re on the hunt for a new pair of sandals or a good pair of running shoes, podiatrist Dr. Mark Forman and our team at Put Your Feet First know that foot-friendly shoes can go a long way in keeping your feet healthy and happy.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you purchase new shoes.

1. Check the size

It goes without saying, but even the most supportive shoes won’t help you if they aren’t the right size. Problems arise because not all brands are consistent. If you wear a size 8 in brand Y, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wear a size 8 in brand Z.

To make sure your shoes are the correct size:

  • Always shop at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen (this prevents too-tight shoes later on)
  • Measure your feet while you’re standing up
  • Opt for a professional fitting

It’s not uncommon for each of your feet to be a different size. If that’s the case for you, always purchase the size of your bigger foot.

2. Look for a roomy toe box

Stilettos and pointed shoes might be trendy, but they can wreak havoc on your feet. Pointed shoes squeeze your feet and toes unnaturally. Especially if you already have bunions, it’s essential to look for a roomy toe box.

3. Keep the heel height low

Lower heels are better for your feet than higher heels. High heels can increase your risk of painful blisters, pain in your Achilles tendon, and bursitis. Ultra-high heels can cause even more problems, including sprained ankles and stress fractures in the bones in your feet.

Ideally, foot-friendly shoes feature a heel that is two inches or lower.

4. Check the heel shape

Narrow heels (such as on stilettos) are much more dangerous than pumps with a wider heel. If you’re searching for pumps, look for plenty of space in the toe box, an athletic construction with plenty of cushion, a low heel, and reinforced (wider) heels.

5. Don’t sacrifice support and cushion

What’s worse than walking around all day in a pair of shoes that lack support? Your feet ache, you develop blisters, and it’s downright miserable. A good pair of shoes should feature the right type of arch support for your feet, have plenty of cushion, and feature soft, breathable fabric.

Tip: If you need more customized support for your feet or aches, don’t overlook the advantages of custom orthotics. Orthotics provide the exact type of support you need.

6. Make it adjustable

Loafers, slides, and flip-flops aren’t the most foot-friendly options available. Loafers and slides don’t fit as well because you can’t adjust laces. Flip-flops provide no cushion or support, and they’re generally not good for your feet.

A foot-friendly shoe should be adjustable, whether with laces or velcro. For example, if you need a pair of sandals, opt for a supportive pair with adjustable straps instead of flip-flops.

7. Consider your activity

Finally, the best shoe is the right shoe for your intended activity. For example, use running shoes while you jog, cross-trainers for cross-training, and soccer cleats for playing soccer. Shoes are designed with specific activities in mind to better protect your feet and ankles. Basketball shoes, for instance, feature a higher top to support your ankle as you pivot, run, and jump in the court.

Don’t ignore foot pain

Even if you invest in the highest quality footwear, you might still experience foot pain. Dr. Forman is an expert at treating foot pain — and helping you prevent future problems. Whether you need orthotics or treatment for a current foot condition, give us a call.

You can reach our office in Scottsdale, Arizona, at 480-423-8400, or you can request an appointment online today.

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