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8 Tips For Proper Shoe Fit

My favorite pair of “sit down” shoes

I have a closet full of shoes, like most women. I even have a few pairs of “sit down” shoes; i.e. pretty but painful; so, you only wear them to sit down events like weddings. It has been said that the modern woman has an average of 30 pairs of shoes and only 3 or 4 are comfortable. In fact, it has also been cited that the average woman wants to remove her dress shoes after 34 minutes of wearing them. Really? Last time I checked that’s not the average work day. Ladies, this needs to change! Why are we torturing ourselves just to be “fashionable”? And who gets to decide what is “fashionable” anyway? 

I may have a running shoe problem

I am probably the exception to the rule because last time I counted, I had 14 pairs of “dress shoes and/or sandals” and 10 pairs of running shoes in various degrees of wear. After my last pregnancy, I had to heed my own advice (please, don’t tell anyone) and do a shoe purge. All those pretty shoes didn’t fit anymore. The thank you goes to my 3 daughters! I had been preaching for years that your shoe size goes up at least half a size with the first two pregnancies; then it seems to stabilize. Turns out it’s true! I was a US 5.5 when I was 18 and at 50, I’m a US 7!

The lovely aging process also changes our feet. We tend to get little lumps, bumps and other crazy things happening; but that’s a topic for another day. 

My favorite Dansko clogs

I’m not saying that we all should go out and buy and wear my favorite comfort shoes from Dansko (My daughters call them my doll clogs); but let’s work on actually wearing shoes that fit!

Here are 8 tips to think about when buying your next pair of shoes. And while you are at it, do a closet shoe purge BEFORE you go shopping!

  1. Purchase shoes at the end of the work day or after sports for the best fit. Your feet will swell during the day, so night shopping is best for fit. As for running shoes, your feet will also swell about 15 minutes into your run especially in the summer; so, when in doubt size up at least a half a size.
  2. Don’t forget to measure both feet! Yes, I said measure them! Feet change with age, pregnancy and weight gain (or loss). Measure both feet and pick the size of the larger foot. Most people are not perfectly symmetrical.
  3. Wiggle your toes in the toe box. Are they rubbing? Do they feel crowded? If so, go up a half a size or to a wide width.
  4. Make sure the widest part of your foot is still in the shoe, not hanging over the edge of the sole. This leads to blisters and can aggravate bunions.
  5. Don’t rely on “breaking in” the shoe. It should be comfortable right out of the box or newsflash – It doesn’t fit!
  6. Try on shoes with the same socks or lack of socks that you will be wearing in them. Sock thickness can make a real difference in fit!
  7. A pet peeve of mine, if you can bend the shoe so much that you can make a burrito out of it – don’t buy it. You will thank me later. A stiffer sole is much more comfortable, and your feet don’t fatigue as fast. A built in arch support can make it even more comfortable!
  8. Walk around the store for a few minutes and make sure you are comfortable before buying. When in doubt, take them home and walk around on carpet. As long as you don’t wear them outside or have any visible wear, most stores will let you return them after a few days if you are not 100% ecstatic about your new kicks.

Time to get some new shoes? Make sure they fit and are comfortable! Your feet will thank you. If you have any questions about whether a shoe fits, feel free to make an appointment with your favorite podiatrist.