10 Buying Shoes Tips For Normal or Problem Feet

Updated on
Written by Penny Cooper

Whether walking, running, standing, hiking, or just going to work, we all need shoes. Here are 10 buying shoes tips.

We might choose them for the style, price, or comfort, but what we should really be basing our decisions on is: which shoes will be the best for my feet?

With foot pain issues rife across society, it is increasingly important to choose footwear that helps to look after your feet. Here’s what you need to know:

Wear your normal socks

  • This is important because it will show a more accurate fitting when you’re trying on new shoes. The thin stockings that most shoe stores provide are usually not similar enough to socks to help you in your shoe purchasing decision. If you are shopping for shoes that require a certain type of sock, such as sneakers or winter boots, it is a smart idea to bring along a pair to find the most comfortable fitting shoes.

Feel the width

  • Shoes may be perfect from heel to toe, but you may need wide-width shoes to make sure they fit across the center of your foot as well. Purchasing shoes that do not fit the width of your foot can lead to pain and discomfort as your feet will feel constricted.

Stand up

  • You need to be putting maximum pressure on your feet when you’re trying out new shoes, so standing up is vital. It is important to test the shoes to ensure that you will not feel any pain at any point, regardless of which position you find yourself in. This is especially true when purchasing shoes meant for certain purposes, like running or hiking shoes.

Shop later

  • Just as our body weight slightly fluctuates throughout the day, our feet experience similar changes. Our feet swell during the day, and you need shoes that will be comfortable and supportive when your feet are at their biggest. If you plan to wear these shoes during long durations of standing, this is an especially important tip to keep in mind.

Toe space

  • It’s recommended to leave half an inch of space between the end of your toes and the end of the inside of the shoe so that there is some flexibility allowed. Don’t leave too much space though, as then the shoes won’t be supportive. Finding shoes that provide just the right amount of toe space is vital to ensuring your shoes will be both comfortable and functional.

Test both shoes

  • It can be a nuisance to try on both shoes when shopping in a rush, but it is vital to ensure you find the shoes that are most comfortable for you. Your feet may well not be identical in size, so it’s important to try both shoes on and have a walk around. Take a stroll down a few aisles in your soon-to-be new shoes to make sure they fit properly on both feet before confirming your purchase.

Sizing it up

  • Don’t presume that your feet are the same size as they were last time or the same size for every brand or store. Instead, have the sales assistant help you sizing your feet to ensure you’ve got it right. They have the proper tools to accurately measure your foot size.

Study the soles

  • Every step you take in your shoes will put pressure through the soles, so these must be supportive and robust. Make sure that the soles are constructed from a comfortable, yet strong material that will be able to withstand long durations of wear. Taking a walk around the shoe store can be a good indicator of whether the soles will be comfortable or not.

You’re the boss!

  • Use your judgment once you’ve found a pair that feels right. Don’t be swayed by the salesperson or the magazines that show you a range of beautiful, but possibly hideously unsupportive, shoes. While fashionable, trendy shoes may be eye-appealing, this should not be the only quality you seek in shoes when shopping. Purchasing footwear purely for their aesthetic appeal may ultimately be a waste of money when they prove to be uncomfortable and unsupportive.

You won’t grow into them

  • Shoes won’t change their shape or support while you wear them, so you need to make sure that they are comfortable and good to your feet from the moment you buy them. Although it may seem convenient to purchase shoes that are slightly too big or too small if they are the only ones readily available, it will not benefit you in the long run.

Bonus Tip: Buying online

  • If you’re a dedicated online buyer of shoes (I know I am), whether sports shoes or going out shoes check the reviews. Do a search in the item’s review area for ‘width’ or ‘toe’ or other relevant phrase to see if there is a consensus on whether the shoes favor a particular aspect.

In Conclusion

Sticking with known shoe manufacturers is something I like to do. You get used to their models, although they do often change and the above suggestions are still valid.

Secondly the best shoe brands have a reputation to maintain and many have a long history of research and developing more comfortable and efficient foot wear.

Final word: If you’re like me you probably buy too many shoes because I love ’em. If so think about ways to recycle shoes – it’s not always easy but click here for recycling ideas.

Photo of author
Penny is a Personal Trainer currently training as a wellness coach. She gained a BA in English at Edinburgh University. Redundancy from retail management hastened a move to helping people get fit and writing about all things fitness in middle age.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.