Buying Shoes that Fit

Here’s a checklist to help you on your next shoe-shopping trip:

  • Have your feet measured by a salesperson. Foot size typically increases with age.
  • Have both feet measured. Often one foot is larger than the other. If that’s so, buy to fit the larger foot.
  • Always try on both shoes.
  • Shop after work or in the late afternoon. Since feet swell during the day, you want a fit that will be comfortable until you kick off your shoes at home.
  • When you go shopping, take with you the socks or stockings you intend to wear with your new pair of shoes.
  • When going for a test walk, step onto a hard surface, such as tile or concrete, before you make a selection. Walking on carpet does not give a true indication of comfort.
  • Buy shoes that hug the heel and allow one half inch of room at the end of the toe.
  • Don’t plan on “breaking-in” stiff shoes. In time your feet may stretch the shoes, but it could be a long, painful process. Shoes should feel comfortable immediately.
  • Check the thickness of the sole. If it’s too thin, it won’t protect your foot from the pavement, and the ball of your foot will do more than its share of shock absorbing.
  • Be sure the widest part of your foot fits comfortably in the widest part of the shoe. Don’t squeeze a “C” foot into an “A” width shoe.
  • Steer clear of shoes made of synthetic materials, such as plastic. Natural materials like leather and canvas have more give and allow ventilation to the feet.
  • If you’re a woman and you must buy heels, try to settle for a heel under 2 inches high, so the ball of the foot is not overstressed.
  • Last, but not least, try to shop in a store where you can return the shoes if they’re just not comfortable.