Some see shoes as a work of art and fill their closets with them; some see them as an inconvenience and opt out of them altogether.
We see your shoes as a key player in your foot health. And if you don’t choose them carefully, pain, injuries, and even deformities are bound to follow.
That’s why Dr. Kelly Geoghan prioritizes helping you find the right gear for your feet. Here’s a closer look at our expert’s checklist for the perfect pair of shoes.
What to look for in a pair of shoes
Not all shoes are created equally, and even some of the most popular brands fall short. We encourage you to keep these criteria (not brand or style) in mind when shopping for shoes.
A stiff back
Your heel bears much of the force your foot experiences. Add the vulnerability of your Achilles tendon, and it’s easy to understand why you should prioritize the back of your shoe. Look for strong and sturdy support that protects your tendon and cushions your heel as you move.
Torque refers to the amount of force required to make an object rotate. You want your shoes to be able to handle some torque and be flexible enough to allow for easy movement. Shoes that are too stiff or too flimsy are a recipe for an injury.
You can check this by grabbing either end and carefully twisting it. The shoe should be able to twist slightly.
Bend in the toe box
If you walk barefoot, you likely notice that your toes naturally bend as you take a step — your shoes should bend in a similar way. That’s why it’s important to try your shoes on and walk around in them to see if they can accommodate your natural movements.
Room in the toe box
Not only should the toe box bend with your toes, but it should also be wide and long enough to fit all your toes comfortably. If the toe box squeezes your toes, you could develop a painful condition called a neuroma.
The arch of your foot, which is framed by bones and supported by ligaments and tendons, is what helps your foot absorb shock as you run, jump, and walk. All too often, the bands of connective tissues in your arch tear and become inflamed, leading to a condition called plantar fasciitis.
One of the best ways to avoid plantar fasciitis is to wear shoes that have adequate arch support. However, make sure that the arch support isn’t too high, or it could put pressure on your toes or cause the shoe to slip off your heel.
Other shoe-buying tips
Buying the right pair of shoes isn’t just about the structure of the shoes. There are a few other things to consider when you head to the store. Here are some of our other shoe-buying tips:
- Wear the same socks you intend to wear with the shoes
- Have a professional measure both of your feet
- Get measured every time you buy new shoes
- Stand in the shoes
- Ensure that there’s some space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe
- Walk in the shoes
- Focus on your comfort level
- Check for any potentially irritating tags, seams, or other material
It’s also a good idea to go shoe shopping in the afternoon when your feet are naturally at their biggest.
Need more help on your search for better shoes? We’d love to talk with you. You can request an appointment online or over the phone at our Lutherville, Maryland, office today.