Proper Fit. Perfect Foot.
Remember in the story of Cinderella how the prince went all over the kingdom trying to find the girl whose foot fit into the glass slipper? Well, he was definitely on to something! You see, if those step sisters tried to wear that shoe, they would’ve surely ended up with a bunion, callus, corn, or maybe even all three! Even Prince charming knows the importance of a proper fit.
If footwear is too loose, it doesn’t offer you the support that your feet need. Also, the heel of the shoe might slip up and down and cause blisters and irritation. You may have to pull the laces tight, which puts pressure on the top of your foot. You may also have to wear thick socks that make your feet sweat, a guaranteed invitation for fungal infections.
Shoes that are too tight can cause all sorts of problems. The friction from the shoe rubbing on your foot can cause blisters, calluses, and corns. If your toes are all squished in, it can cause the joints to stick out, developing painful bunions. Toes crammed against the end of your shoe can cause black toenails and hammertoes. If you already have a foot condition, squeezing into a size that’s not right will only result in making it worse and even more painful. A shoe with a proper fit, on the other hand, can take away pressure, pain, and even prevent problems from reoccurring or progressing.
A good rule of thumb is that shoes should conform to your foot, not the other way around. There is no such thing as “breaking them in.” Before you try on footwear, you should measure your feet. Sometimes your size changes with age. It is also not uncommon for one foot to be bigger than the other. If that is the case, you should fit the larger one. Here are some more tips for a proper fit:
- Shop for shoes at the end of the day. Because of normal swelling after standing and walking all day, this is the time when your feet are at their largest. If they fit now, you know they won’t be too tight later.
- Bring along shoe inserts, if you wear them, to test them out in your new selections.
- Stand and walk around with both shoes on to see if they feel comfortable.
- Avoid high heels. These put pressure on the forefoot and joints, which can cause painful problems. Limit heel height to 2 inches or less.
- Stay away from pointy-toed shoes, too. These force your toes into an unnatural triangular shape and place an abundance of pressure on the balls of your feet.
- Look for a wide toe box to give your toes plenty of wiggle room.
- Choose breathable materials (unlike a glass slipper!) to avoid having your feet sweat. Opt for flexible soles that allow your toes to bend when you walk.
- There should be about half an inch of space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. You should check that the heel fits properly, too.
To learn more about the importance of shoes with a proper fit, visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Center in Glasgow, Newark, or Wilmington, Delaware. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM, FACFAS, can answer any questions you have and help with any foot problems you may be experiencing. Call (302) 623-4250 for an appointment today. We promise that you’ll live happily ever after.