The feet are the foundation of the human body and any problem down there will be felt everywhere in the body. The human foot was designed to walk on soft surfaces like earth, grass and sand. The price of civilization is that we are now forced to walk on hard surfaces like tiles, marble and concrete which are pretty hard on our feet. When we walk, it is the outer edge of your foot that first strikes the floor. It is crucial to have a shoe that fits you properly for several reasons. The most common foot misalignments are excessive pronation (foot turning inward) and supination (foot turning outward). It is estimated that more than 75% of the population suffer from excess pronation. If your shoes don’t provide the necessary support to your feet to offset the impact of walking, they can trigger many foot problems. That is why, you should never compromise when selecting shoes that fits you.
What you should look to choose shoe:
1. If your arch is high: If your arch is high and you have very rigid and inflexible feet, when you walk you are likely to land on the outsides of your feet without rolling inward. This can lead to planter fasciitis, tendonitis, and knee problems, if you use unsupportive shoes. You may also notice that the soles of your old shoes are worn down along the outsides.
What you should look: You need neutral-cushioned shoes. Look for curved, C-shaped shoes and squeeze the heel areas – your ideal shoes should feel stiff, not mushy like the back of a ballet shoe. Also avoid very flat shoes and look for cushioning under the balls of the feet and small heel lift.
2. If your arch is normal: If your arch is normal, your feet will feel comfy with shoes that provide moderate arch support. You have the most common foot type and are considered a normal pronator.
What you should look: Look for semi-curved soles, and stick with the types of shoes that have been comfortable for you in the past. Avoid the extremes, skip super high heels, ballet-style flats, and any shoes you can either roll up in a ball or not bend at all.
3. If your arch is low: If your arch is low, and you have very flexible feet that are likely to roll inward, or over pronate when you walk. People with flat feet may experience pain in the arch area or heel or ankle or sometimes even in the knee or lower back. This could happen due to age, excessive strain (e.g running or walking long distances) or even standing for long periods of time. You probably wear out your shoes on the area closest to the insides of your feet.
What you should look: You need shoes that offer good arch support to prevent any rolling, use clear of pairs that are super flexible. Try orthotic footwear which will help align the feet properly and ensure that the fallen arches are lifted. Shoes that are labelled “motion control” and “stability” are the best kind for your type of foot.
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7 Rules for the shoe that fits you:
1. Toe Box:
It should be roomy enough to enable to to wiggle your toes and deep enough to prevent them from rubbing against the inside surface.
Pointy toe boxes are now being worn not only by women by also by millions of men following the latest fad. These tend to push your toes towards leading to the formation of bunions (a painful, inflamed swelling of the bursae on the first joint of the big toe).
Ensure that the shoes are made of a soft breathable material like leather or suede, to prevent overheating and excessive sweating which could trigger bad odor or fungal infection.
The inside of the footwear should not have exposed seams or material sticking out which could lead to painful blisters or calluses.
3. Just the right fit:
Your shoes should feel sung but not tight with no pinching or binding which can cut off circulation, promote ingrown nails. To avoid blisters and calluses your feet should not slide in the shoes.
4. A little flexibility:
The ideal shoes will flex at the balks of the feet, not at the arches. To test, Try on the shoes and raise up on the balls of your feet; the shoes should bend.
5. Supportive back:
The rear most part of the shoe just above the sole, should be firm and cradle the back of the foot properly. Sling-back shoes or shoes with backs are better than those without. Backless shoes force toes to work hard, which can create blisters or irritate hammertoes. Footwear without a toe-grip force your toes to hold on to them for fear of slipping out, leading to clawed digits.
6. Shoe Insole:
A shoe insert or shoe insole is an important part of your shoe that goes into your shoe to help support the foot. Shoe insole is medically termed as Orthotics can provide cushioning and help even out pressure and help control abnormal motion that might be causing some discomfort and pain. So, always look for shoe that has quality shoe insole within it.
Heels should be cushioned and shock absorbent. More than one and half inches high can put excessive pressure on the balls of your feet, get you off balance, and shorten your calf muscles. And flats with less than half inch of lift can alter the function of your knees, hips and ankles. Other things you need to know are – the thicker the heel , the better; and wedges are much more stable than stilettos.
5 Rules for Best Shoe Shopping:
1. The later, the better: Your feet swell to their largest size as blood pools in them by the end of the day, which makes this the best time to shop. Go too early, and you risk getting a pair that will be too tight.
2. Get measured every time: Pregnancy, weight gain and age can cause your feet to lengthen and broaden: your arches can change, too. Also, if one of your feet is bigger than the other (as is the case for lots of people), buy shoes in the size of the larger foot. For sports shoes, leave a finger’s width of space between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe for toe movement and thicker socks.
3. Try them on: Select shoes that conform as closely as possible to the shape of your feet. Sizes differ by brand (and even within the same brand). Ask the salesperson to bring your normal size as well as a half-size larger and smaller.
4. Dress for success: Bring or wear the socks you plan to pair with the shoes.
5. Go with your gut: You will know within minutes if a shoe is right for you. If it is even a bit uncomfortable now, it will feel exponentially worse as time goes on. There is no such thing as a “break-in” period.
Q. What is the importance of finding a shoe that fits me correctly?
Ans: It is crucial to have a shoe that fits you properly for several reasons. It is undoubtedly gives you comfort and easiness and reduces the risk of prolonged foot problems related to shoe like blisters, corns or calluses etc. Secondly, a well-fitted shoe will reduce you the risk of falling down. Thirdly, the proper fitted shoe ensures the adequate support to feet and reduces common foot problem like pain and fatigue. Lastly, wearing shoe that fits you correctly can enhance your positive attitude and style.
Q. How can I know if a shoe fits me properly?
Ans: Though a shoe fits one on the basis of different aspects of individual, but there are a few essential factors that can tell a shoe that fits you properly. Firstly, ensure that there is enough space between the front of your longest toe and the shoe’s tip (at least half an inch). Secondly, it must ensure that the material of the shoe is pretty good enough as a good quality of shoe is necessary for getting comfort and reducing the fatigue in long distance. Thirdly, check that the arch support aligns with the natural curve of your foot. Lastly, check that the rear part of your shoe must be firm and cradle the back of foot properly.
Q. How do I find the right shoe size for my feet?
Ans: It is very simple way to get the right size shoe if your feet are measured accurately. Use a Brannock device or a foot-measuring tool to determine your foot length and width. It is interesting that different brands follows different sizing. So, always mention the brands and go with the brand’s specific sizing chart. Remember that shoe size may vary depending on the shoe type and style, so measure each time you shop for a new style.
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