How much thought do you put into selecting the right footwear? While many people consider factors like style, price, and fit, what about making choices that are good for the health of your feet? Even if you aren’t looking for a pair of shoes for problem feet, the right approach to buying footwear decreases the odds of developing certain types of foot complaints. Here are some of the things you should take into consideration every time you buy a new pair of shoes.
Opting for Natural Over Synthetic Materials
Some experts will tell you that natural materials for footwear is always the best approach. It’s true that opting for natural over synthetic materials is more likely to help you avoid a number of quality issues as well as provide a better fit. The thing to keep in mind that natural materials are not always the best quality and they may offer fewer benefits than you realize.
Before assuming that pair of ballet flats made with natural material is superior to the pair made using mainly synthetic materials, look a little closer. Which set provides the flexibility that you need? Is there enough give in the toe and the heel to ensure they are comfortable? Is the quality of the natural material so low that it could actually be bad for your feet? if so, the synthetic may be the right choice in this one instance.
The bottom line is make no assumptions when it comes to materials. Consider type and quality carefully. Doing so will make it easier to choose something that is good for your feet, even if it means passing on both options and seeking out a third pair.
Choosing the Right Size
You think that you know your shoe size. What you may not realize is that it can change over time. It’s not unusual for people to move from the need for a medium fit to a wide fit as they age. There may also be a slight disparity between the size of the right foot and the left one.
What does this have to do with choosing the healthiest shoes? It means you should have your feet measured each time you need to purchase a new pair. The time may have arrived to go with a roomier fit, or you may need to buy the pair based on the measurements of one foot instead of both. If your right foot is slightly larger, choose a pair that will fit it perfectly.
When you do go to buy a new pair, don’t forget to consider the type of sock or hose you will wear with those shoes. Doing so makes it all the easier to ensure there’s enough room. If possible, wear a pair of socks that are just like the ones you will typically wear along with the new shoes. Doing so makes it all the easier to select the ideal size.
And Don’t Forget the Shape of Your Feet
While all feet look much like the same, there are differences. Your goal is to know the difference between the best and worst shoes for your foot shape. If your big toe is longer than the others, that needs to be taken into consideration. Toes that are almost the same length require a different approach to evaluating the toe box. Heels that are more square than rounded also need certain types of shoe features.
The point of taking the shape of your feet into consideration is to ensure the new footwear fits properly and provides all the benefits that you need. You’ll find it easier to wear the shoes all day long if necessary and there is less potential for cramps and soreness to develop.
Proper Support Helps More Than Your Feet
On the note of avoiding cramps or aching feet, it pays to remember that shoes with the right fit do more than reduce the risk of different foot issues. They can also ease stress on the ankles and the lower legs. The right pair of flexible shoes can even have an impact on whether you end the day with pain in your lower back or feel perfectly comfortable.
Something that you may not know is that shoes also affect your posture. A proper fit and support make it all the easier to stand tall and not slouch. When you find shoes good for your feet and posture, don’t pass them by. They will more than pay for themselves over time in terms of preventing pain and helping you feel better in general.
Cushioning Matters Too
Cushioning does a lot for the feet even if you don’t have a particular complaint. That’s because the right type of cushioning helps to absorb the shock that occurs every time you take a step on a hard surface. Assuming the cushioning is made with some of the better materials on the market, it will be easier for air to circulate around the feet. Air circulation is important in terms of preventing the feet from getting too hot or allowing the skin to become too dry.
Depending on what type of foot problem you are dealing with, that cushioning can also prevent a lot of discomfort. Shoes good for feet with problems have just enough give and take to feel comfortable while also providing plenty of comfort. Your podiatrist can recommend the best types of cushioning to look for when it’s time to buy a new pair of shoes.
Style Sometimes Has to Take a Back Seat
Even with all the options on the market today, there are likely some shoe designs that are not right for your feet. Not everyone can wear pointed-toe shoes; the shape of your feet or some type of health issue may mean that you would do well to stick with rounded or square-toe footwear instead. In like manner, you may need to focus your attention on styles that have more cushioning than others. Even factors like the materials used may need to be considered carefully before you buy any new pair of shoes.
Before you assume that any type of foot condition means you can only wear the most basic designs or settle for something that resembles a concrete block rather than a shoe, think again. There are many different style options on the market today that work well for people with specific foot problems. Some of them are quite attractive.
Always Go for Extra Room in the Toe Box
Whether you have a foot condition or would simply like to avoid developing one, making sure there’s a little extra room in the toe box is a good strategy. It doesn’t have to be much; all you need is enough for your toes to not feel cramped. You can use your index finger to get an idea of exactly where your toes fit in that great pair of sneakers you are considering. If they fill the entire toe box, you need to try something with a little more length and width. In the long run, you’ll enjoy wearing those shoes a lot more.
And a Heel That Isn’t Too High or Too Low
When people think of choosing high heels, they are more likely to consider factors like where they will wear the shoes and if the heel height is in line with how tall or short they happen to be. Those are important things to remember, but don’t overlook the fact that a higher heel does place more stress on the ankles and the lower legs. They can also place some additional stress on the toes. If you already have one foot condition to manage, do you really want to add another one?
Consider how shoes with a lower heel would work. Whether for fun or something for the office, you may find that the lower heel is still flattering and does not pave the way for new foot problems to develop.
Sandals May Be Better Than Other Summertime Footwear
Everyone likes to be comfortable during the summer. The thing it that flip flops are not necessarily the best choice, especially if you have a foot issue. You may need more support than these simple and fun footwear options can provide. If so, think about getting a comfortable pair of sandals.
The sandals are more likely to have an insole that conforms to your feet properly. The straps that support the heels and possibly the ankles will certainly ease stress on the feet. You’ll find that the straps over the instep are sufficient to keep the sandals from slipping. All in all, you get the comfort of flip flops plus some other qualities that only come with a pair of sandals.
Specialty Footwear for Specific Problems
When it comes to finding the best shoes for foot problems, remember that shoes designed to help with one issue may or may not work well for a different one. For example, shoes designed for diabetics who are beginning to experience some neuropathy in the feet need something that helps to promote blood circulation. By contrast, people with other types of issues may need a nice pair of orthopedic shoes. Don’t pay attention to anyone who says they have a shoe that’s right for all types of foot problems. You are better off finding someone who has shoes designed specifically for your condition.
Your feet are intended to serve you well for a lifetime. Take proper care of them by investing in shoes that protect and provide additional support if you do have some type of ongoing problem. In the long run, your feet will feel better, controlling your condition will be easier, and your days will certainly be more pleasant.