It is important to remember that every person have different kind of feet. To know which type of feet you have, you can wet your feet and then make an imprint so you can see and decide if you have a high-arch feet, normal-arch feet or flat feet. To determine this, if you see a really wide imprint between the balls of your feet and the heel, then you are flat-footed. A very narrow band means you are high-arched.
People with a high arch need to buy shoes that are built ‘curved last’ which has a thin strip between the heel and the ball of the shoes. ‘Semi-curved last’ are meant for people with a normal arch. Those with flat arches should look for ‘straight last’ shoes.
Another important factor to consider is your body built. If you are overweight you need extra cushioning to absorb the impact and also you probably need extra wide shoes. Lightweight shoes are better suited for light body frame. You also don’t need extra cushioning.
One of the most important factors when buying shoes is to get the correct fit. The best thing to do is to go to a technical shoes store where they have trained shoe experts to evaluate your feet type as well as your gait to ensure you get the proper support and comfort with shoes.
Shoes for walking or for other outdoor activities should be at least one size bigger than your dress shoes. You can estimate this by measuring against half your thumbnail. Try to go to the shoe store later in the afternoon as your feet swells throughout the day.
Test the shoe for flexibility. Rigid shoes will cause stress to your ankle and shin muscles. Try twisting the shoe with both hands; it should twist a little. Bend the shoe and it should bend at the ball. Press down the shoe at the toe and it should cause the hell to rise a little. This means the shoe will allow for the natural rocking of your feet while walking. Walking shoes should also have low heels and the difference should not be more than one inch between the heel and the toes. The heel of the shoe itself should not flare out but rather cut-in at the back – again, to allow the rolling motion.