We’ve all been there. We’ve scoured the mall to find the perfect shoes that do not only fit but also make our feet look glamorous only to find ourselves back in the same shoe section the following week for another round of shoe shopping.
Indeed, the search for the perfect pair of shoes never stops.
It’s no wonder more and more styles and brand are entering the scene–hoping to infiltrate majority of the enthusiastic consumer market. Some styles quickly become the next new hot trend while others seem to share little of the limelight.
But the real challenge for consumers is this: with the thousands and thousands of shoes to choose from, how can someone succeed in finding the perfect pair?
Sounds like a huge dilemma but it’s nothing that we can’t solve with enough deliberation.
To kick off, we want to set your expectations on the discussion that will follow.
First, we have to consider the general guidelines for finding the best shoes for you. Be it style, fit, and comfort–you have to know which are the real deal-breakers and which ones you can live with.
The next part will be more in depth and specific; the right shoes for the desired occasion.
Afterall, you can’t wear heels at a sports game, can you?
Your outfit will not be complete without first finding a matching pair of shoes. But while aesthetics seem like the most important thing to consider, we suggest you look at the comfort level your pair can offer as well.
There are a number of features which can boosts the comfort level of any shoes. For example, insole, midsole and outsole are all known for their ability to provide additional cushion and comfort with your every step. As the name suggests, the insole mainly targets to support the foot and arch while midsoles are more of shock absorbent. Meanwhile, outsoles are focused on maintaining traction for everyday use.
The heel should be no greater than 4 cm and should come with a heel counter which help stabilize the foot during contact to the ground. Also ensure that the toe box provides enough space for your toes to at least wiggle inside the shoe.
Other great features you can look for are the Achilles notch which minimizes the strain on the tendon, ankle collar for better protection and the toe box effective in preventing calluses.
But since there is no perfect world when it comes to shoe selection, we have to move on to guideline number 2. Sure, not every pair can promise maximum comfort but at least we can bet you’ll find the right size for you.
This is definitely a given. If the shoe doesn’t fit, then you might as well end the whole decision-making process.
Here’s a great tip: your feet tend to swell a little during the day so it’s better to schedule your shoe shopping at night. At this time, your feet are at its right size so you’re sure to find the shoes that fits you perfectly and won’t give you a hard time during daytime use.
And in case you’re part of the population whose one foot is larger than the other, you can also consider trying on two sizes and check which one works best for you. We suggest you buy the larger size and just find in-soles to secure your smaller foot in.
You should also consider the width and length of your feet. Everyone probably has their fair share of shoe mishaps from the past and most of this are due to shoes that are either too wide or too narrow for their size.
To avoid excruciating pain from blisters and ugly calluses, you should keep in mind that if you want narrow-shaped shoes, you better opt for a larger size and lower heels as well.
You have to identify your feet’s arch type too.
Arch type pertains to the alignment of bones and muscles that form your feet. Your feet may either be neutral-arched, low-arched, or high-arched.
Neutral-arched feet are technically in the middle–neither overly arched nor flat. If you think you fall under this category, then look for shoes with stable midsoles and straight to semi-curved design.
Flat-footed people usually suffer from muscle stress and joint problem so to avoid this, it’s best to find straight shape or design and a motion control feature for better stability.
While for high-arched feet, we highly suggest that you look for shoes you can equip with proper cushioning like curved shaped shoes. The main goal here is to compensate for the lack of shock absorption natural to the feet.
And if you’re just really unsure about your shoe type, you can try bringing an old pair with you the next time you shop and ask for expert’s opinion when choosing the best the shoes that fit your profile.
Don’t be surprised that your personal style and preference are included in the general guidelines on shoe shopping. Because while these factors do not directly cater to the needs of your feet, knowing what works for you and which shoes fit your wardrobe can help you zero in on a perfect pair just as easily.
So if you’re more of laid back person, who’s more inclined to wear casual dresses on any day, try investing more on sneakers for daily use and several sandals and flats that fit your style. To take it up a notch, you can wear heels and oxfords for more formal occasions.
The key is to invest more in various pairs that you can use daily and find a perfect and reliable pair that you can use on rare occasions where you need to dress up a little.
Remember: no impulse buying. Buy shoes you would actually use. This technique will not only save you a lot of money but plenty of wardrobe space as well.
Now, let’s move forward to the part where we discuss how you can successfully find the shoes the fit and match well to the occasion.
The only appropriate way to do this is to tackle each possible scenario and provide you with tips to consider in choosing the right shoe for you. Needless to say, you are to consider the general rules we’ve already mentioned in addition to the specifics we’ll talk about below.
It’s not rocket science that women prefer to wear heels for special occasions while men can rock their favorite oxfords with ease.
Heels provide all the glitz and glam needed to complete your outfit. They easily make your legs look elongated which provide you an overall elegant look. Still, every wearer can’t deny the pain involved in wearing these types of shoes.
We suggest you opt for heels that fits you just right–yes, we’re going back to tip no. 2. But aside from that, you have to know your capacity to handle the stress and strain of wearing heels. To introduce your feet to the whole elevated concept and feel, you can start with 2 to 3 inches heels and improve as you go.
Also, remember that you have to imagine yourself wearing the heels for three hours straight at most before you finally conclude the purchase. So if you’re struggling with the shoes for only a few minutes of trying it on, then you must reconsider your options.
In addition to this buying guidelines, there are also several ways to minimize the harsh effects of your heels to your feet.
Limit wearing your high heels to three to eight hours at most. The glide technique where you first put down your foot then glide also helps in giving you comfort while walking in heels.
Finally, beyond all the glamor, your feet also need special attention especially after being subjected to such trauma. So make sure to try a home foot massage or a rejuvenating foot bath once you’re home and ready to call it a day.
If you’re fond of walking, then you should be more concerned about comfort than aesthetics.
As we all know, feet can easily withstand pressure before they feel any pain. Given that, it’s possible that you may already be walking for miles before you finally feel the need to give your feet some rest.
In this case, it’s vital to look for shoes that will provide your feet the ultimate comfort and protection.
You want your walking shoes to be dependable, light, and convenient.
It’s important that you pick a footwear that has lace-up fastenings which ensure that your feet are firmly held in place. This feature prevents your feet from suffering from blisters and other sores.
The lining of the shoes should also be considered in your decision-making. Make sure it is smooth and without round and prominent stitching inside.
As for the sole, check if it’s tough enough to last and provide you with long and reliable service.
Leather uppers mould well to the shape of your foot, are hard wearing and allow your feet to “breathe” without becoming too sweaty. The lining of the shoe should be smooth, with no round and obtrusive stitching inside. The sole should be tough and long lasting to offer both protection and grip. More advice on walking
Finding the right shoe for any sport activities will decrease your likelihood of suffering from any possible injury.
You might be well aware that not all sporty-looking shoe can be used for both basketball AND running. Running shoes are known for their ease and flexibility. These features enable the foot to flex and easily bend in every step.
As we’ve already mentioned, your running shoes should fit your feet shape and type for better protection. Usually, trying on several sizes and style helps in zeroing in on the best fitting and most comfortable running shoes.
Make sure you use different shoes for sports like basketball, tennis, or even aerobics are these requires more elaborate movements and sideways stepping. Sturdier and soles with better capability to provide friction are recommended for these uses.
You can try cross trainers, for one. These are known for their stiff form and ability to provide better support for the foot so you’re secured even when moving swiftly and in various motions. This type of sport shoes is an excellent choice because it can be used in different activities – best bang on the buck.
Again, if you’re looking for sports shoes, ask for a pair that can give you a maximum flexibility and even sideway support.
Fitness shoes for activities like aerobics are designed to minimize the effect of high impact activities and movements on the feet. These are usually flexible and provide stable support to the wearer.
Now that we’ve covered everything there is to consider when in search of the perfect pair, we feel that you’re ready to be up and about.
But before we end this discussion, we hope that you were able to understand that choosing your next favorite shoes is more of a matter of comfort and ease than style. Because at the end of the day, your wellness is the utmost priority.
And with that, we also hope you remember that a daily foot massage and relaxing warm bath can go a long way. Other healthy measures include moisturizing your feet and regular toenails trim.
But if you feel like your feet need attention far more than the usual stuff, we suggest you try and pay a visit to a Chiropodist, who can provide you with solutions to your problems.
Always remember that if the shoe feels right, then that must be it for you.
Getting both the comfort and style in your next pair is the goal and we hope you achieve just that.
The first step lies in your hand–and feet as well. So good luck and happy shopping!