Seven Tips for Buying Shoes That Are Good for Your Feet

Uncomfortable shoes are nothing new and have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, leaving the medical profession to clean up the aftermath. Everything from bad backs to painful bunions and hammertoes can be traced back to bad footwear choices. Yet fashion shows no signs of giving your feet a break any time soon.

At New York Foot Experts, we’ve seen every possible result of bad footwear at our six locations across New York City. And we sympathize. In an effort to work with you for better foot health, we’ve gathered together the following seven tips for buying shoes that are good for your feet, while offering a few fashion compromises along the way.

1. Ladies first

Let’s start with the biggest culprit when it comes to shoes that aren’t good for your feet: high heels. Consider the size of your feet in proportion to your body and you begin to see what an amazing accomplishment it is for these relatively small areas to carry the entire weight of your body. To do their job efficiently, they need every square inch to shoulder this burden, but heels shift most of this burden to the balls of your feet.

If heels aren’t something you’re willing to give up, meet us halfway and try and keep the height down as best you can — under two inches is best. If you still want a lift, platform heels that elevate your toes and your heels at the same time give you the height you want and keep the pressure spread out more evenly on your feet.

2. To the point

We mentioned that you need every part of your foot to carry your weight, and that includes your toes. Pointy shoes that bunch them together render them unable to do their jobs properly. Avoid shoes with pointy toes and opt for a more rounded toe shape, giving each of your toes the opportunity to share some of your weight.

3. Wiggle room

Speaking of toes, it’s always a good idea to give them space to work in. Shoes that are too small or too tight can seriously hamper their ability to function. When you try on new shoes, walk around in them and make sure your toes are secure, but with enough wiggle room to, well, wiggle, from all sides, including up and down.

4. Got sole?

Shoes were originally invented to protect the soles of our feet over treacherous ground that could inflict cuts and bruises. While our jungle has become more concrete, you should still ensure that your shoes have enough sole to provide a barrier between you and the hard ground. Paper thin soles leave your feet vulnerable to bruising, even on smooth surfaces. When you try on shoes, try walking over different surfaces, including uneven ones like doorways, to see how much your feet can feel.

5. Adventure shoes

For your more athletic pursuits, such as running or hiking, this is one area where fashion has given way to comfort and performance. There are incredible options that provide great support for your feet, but take the time to find one that’s right for you. While all of your running friends may swear by one brand, you may find your feet are better suited to another. When you shop for performance shoes, try on several pairs and give them a whirl around the store, paying close attention to every part of your foot. Make it a mindfulness exercise, and allow your feet to give you the feedback you need.

6. Put a sock in it

All too often, we buy shoes without trying them on as we would normally wear them. If you’re buying boots, make sure you have a pair of thin boot socks. If you’re buying running shoes, bring your favorite sports socks. If you’re buying dress shoes, bring some stocking socks. If you try on your shoes with nothing but the disposable socks provided by the store, you won’t be getting a true idea of how they’ll work with your feet. And if you wear orthotics, be sure to have those with you. Speaking of ...

7. Get support

If you love all kinds of fashionable shoes, we don’t want to discourage you from them. We would like to speak up on behalf of your feet and propose that you get a couple pairs of orthotics. We offer thin orthotics as well as thicker ones, which are custom-molded to provide your feet with the support they need. With the right orthotics, you can turn almost every shoe into a more comfortable, supportive one.

If you’d like to figure out which shoes are best for your feet or learn more about how orthotics can help, feel free to give us a call, or you can schedule a consultation using the online booking tool.


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