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How to Find the Right Shoe

Finding the right shoes for your feet is a matter that should not be taken lightly. An ill-fitting shoe can create problems like bunions or hammertoes or even make an existing problem, like plantar fasciitis, worse.

In order to find the best shoe for you, you must get to know your feet.



Know Your Arch Type


Whether you have a regular, high or flat arch plays a huge role in the shoes you should wear. Getting proper arch support can make the difference between sitting on the sidelines or staying active all day. An easy way to determine what kind of arch you have is to take the Wet Test {link}. Studying your wet foot print will tell you what type of arch you have and make it easier for you to find the right type of shoe for your feet.

If you have flat feet, you will want to look for a motion control shoe. If you have a high arch, you will want a shoe that provides more cushioning. If you have a regular arch, you can wear a neutral shoe.



Understand Pronation

    Pronation occurs when your foot rolls inward as you walk. If you have a flat foot, then your feet pronate. An easy way to tell whether you have flat feet is to check the soles of your shoes. Is there noticeable wear on the internal edge of your shoes? If so, you will want to consider a motion control shoe, which will help your foot strike the ground evenly as you walk.



Get the Right Fit for Wide Feet

    You may think that you can get around having wide feet by buying your shoes in a larger size than normal. However, buying a shoe in the wrong size compromises arch and heel support and can aggravate an existing problem. Also, wearing shoes in the wrong size can create friction and blisters, especially on areas of your feet that would normally go unscathed. You should always look for shoes that fit both the length and the width of your foot for the best support possible.



Consider Existing Foot Problems

    You must take into consideration whether you have a problem such as bunions, hammertoes or plantar fasciitis, or if you have to use insoles or orthotics in your shoes. If you have bunions or hammertoes, you should look for a shoe with a roomy toe box. If you have plantar fasciitis you will need a shoe with good arch support. If you use insoles or custom orthotic inserts, look for a deep shoe to ensure both your foot and your insole or orthotics will fit without creating friction on your foot.



Make Sure You Have the Right Shoe for Your Activity


It may seem basic, but making sure you chose the right shoes for your activity is very important. Shoes are specially designed for a range of activities, everything from lounging to walking to running. If your intention is to start a walking routine, you do not want to purchase a shoe that was designed for running. Running shoes have more flexibility in the ball of the foot to accommodate how a runner’s foot strikes the ground. This can cause ball-of-foot or arch pain for walkers. A walking shoe will be more firm at the ball of the foot to ensure an even strike and reduce pronatation in each step.

Try on lots of shoes to figure out what feels right on your feet. Make sure you wear them around the house for a few days before you start walking in them regularly. A shoe that feels great when you initially try it on may not be as comfortable after you’ve taken a few laps around the house. Plus, trying out your shoes at home can help you make sure you’ve got the right shoe, without experiencing discomfort, when you are out on your daily walk.

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