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Family Foot & Ankle

Guide to Properly Fitting Shoes

Properly Fitting ShoesDo your shoes fit? It seems like a silly question, but you might be shocked to know how many people are wearing shoes that are the wrong size, width, or shape for their feet every single day.

The wrong pair of shoes can be a major nuisance. They can cause pain, increase injury risk, and even accelerate the formation of deformities like bunions or hammertoes, so you want to be sure you get the right fit.

To help you along, here are a few shopping and fitting tips:

  • Shop in the evening. As you go about your day, feet tend to swell a little bit from the standing and walking. If you do your shoe shopping in the evening, you can get your fit when your feet are likely to be at or near their largest.

  • Test shoes with the same type of sock you’d typically wear with them. This ensures that the width of your socks won’t throw off the fit.

  • Don’t assume you know your size. Feet tend to get permanently larger with age—especially wider and flatter. This process is slow, but over time you could change sizes more than once during adulthood. If you aren’t measuring your feet each time you shop, you might miss it. Also, don’t forget—shoe width (represented by letters) is just as important as length (represented by the number).

  • Measure both feet. In an ideal world your feet would be mirror images of each other. However, this world isn’t ideal, and many people have one foot larger than the other. If the difference is within one full shoe size, it’s probably okay to get a pair in the larger size. If the difference is even larger than that, you may have to consider mismatched shoes or an insole for the smaller foot.

  • Test each pair. You may have measured “Size 10, width D,” but that doesn’t mean every shoe with that size will fit exactly the same. Shoes should be comfortable, with about a half inch of space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe. You should also see if you can slide your index finger between your heel and the back of the shoe—it should fit, but relatively snugly.

  • Don’t count on the shoe to “break in.” If a pair of shoes is uncomfortable when you first put them on, they don’t fit and will almost certainly stay that way.

One more point: if you’re having trouble finding shoes that fit, or you have consistent foot pain, stop by Family Foot & Ankle Center in Cincinnati for a checkup with one of our podiatrists. Depending on the shape and structure of your feet, you may benefit from custom orthotics or other treatments. To schedule an appointment, call (888) 689-3317 today.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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