There are few things that can affect our health and mental well being as subtly and profoundly as an ill-fitting pair of shoes. Tight fitting shoes or shoes with too high a heel alter the way a person walks and can affect the knees, hips, spine and neck, a person’s overall posture. Well fitting shoes, and socks, are especially important for children whose bones are still growing, and who are vulnerable to developing life long foot problems. Still, there is no reason to sacrifice the truly great shoe styles that are abundant today. Just take a few steps to make sure you are buying the right kind of shoe for your intended wear and to get the correct size.
When shoe shopping, of course style and purpose are important. But equally so, is ensuring that the shoes are fitted perfectly for the foot. Each style varies, especially if the style has very pointed toes or high heels, which can add up to an entire size to that which normally your wear. Proper measurement is the key. The size that your generally wear is a guideline at best, and is not a reliable guideline. It is especially important to be sure that the arch of the foot is supported well and the appropriate part of the foot. Be certain that your foot is measured corrected and the proper style shoe with good arch supports for your foot is in the shoe you are buying.
Although shoes have been worn throughout history, our current sizing methods are just one hundred years old. In 1880, the first uniform shoe sizing method was introduced in by Edwin B. Simpson He defined the standardized sizing system we use today in the united states, with length sixes defined by numbers and by halves and the width given with the letters A to E. Though sizing and custom shoe fitting is not a tradition, many shoppers still struggle with conversions between American (inches) and European (metric) sizing. It is much more flattering to say you take and American size 7 and a half than to admit to a European sized 37 foot. Shoe sizes also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. But most importantly, so bear in mind that size is really just a reference.
Some people advise shopping for shoes at the end of the day when the feet are slightly swollen so that the fit will allow for swelling in the future. This may be a good strategy but it may also result in shoes that are too big, as the average person’s foot swell by as much as 5% during a normal day. But it is a good test to make sure there is some extra room in your shoe. Be certain that you are able to fit one finger between the shoe and the foot at the back of the heel and at the top of the arch. Shop for shoes while wearing the socks or hose you normally wear with the shoes you intend to buy.
And always avoid synthetic materials, which will not breather or give good air circulation when your foot sweats. Buy leather when possible. It is healthier for your feet and far more attractive.