Common foot and ankle conditions to serious foot disorders and everything in between can be provoked by one very easily avoidable cause: inappropriate, poor quality, and/or ill-fitting shoes. Any podiatrist will tell you that a quality, properly fitted shoe results in major proceeds for your feet both now and in the future.

The number one most important quality to look for in shoes is reliable structure that will protect your feet and keep them comfortable. Improperly fitting shoes can cause bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes and other disabling foot disorders.

The Fitting

Some tips to help reduce the risk of foot problems when shopping for shoes:

  • Your shoe should conform to the shape of your foot, not the other way around. Don’t force your feet into a pair of shoes that don’t fit.
  • New shoes should be fitted to your larger foot as most people have one foot larger than the other.
  • Your foot size increases as you get older so have both feet measured every time you purchase shoes.
  • If the shoes feel too tight, don’t buy them. Needing time to “break them in” is a myth.
  • Many high-heeled shoes have a pointed or narrow toe box that crowds the toes and forces them into an unnatural triangular shape. As heel height increases, the pressure under the ball of the foot may double, placing greater pressure on the forefoot as it is forced into the pointed toe box. Limit heel height to two inches or less to protect your feet.
  • Shoes should be fitted carefully to both your heel and your toes.
  • Assess a shoe by how it fits on your foot and not by the marked size. Sizes vary among different styles and different brands.
  • There should be a half-inch of space from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe.
  • Try on new shoes at the end of the day when feet tend to swell and become larger after standing or sitting during the day. This will allow for a better fit.
  • Be sure to try on both shoes. Walk around the shoe store in the shoes to make sure they fit well and feel comfortable.
  • When the shoe is on your foot, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes.