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Proper Shoe Fitting Techniques

Proper Shoe Fitting Techniques

Shop for shoes at the end of the day as the feet have a tendency to swell. Tight hose are as bad as tight shoes. Make sure your hosiery is of proper size and appropriate for the activity.

Try on both shoes and stand. Usually people have one foot larger than another. Fit the larger foot. While standing, allow for 1/2 inch between the longest toe and the end of the toebox, or shoe, with no pressure on the toes (especially the little toe). The instep, while laced, should be comfortably snug but not tight. You should have "wiggle room" for your toes. Walk around on an uncarpeted floor to make sure that the back of the shoe grips the heel firmly without squeezing. Slight slippage, which will probably disappear as wear makes the sole flexible, is acceptable. Pad under the tongue of the shoe if your shoe slips. Be careful of where seams press; they do not stretch.

The ball of the foot should fit in the widest part of the shoe. The shape of the toebox should fit around the toes, not squeeze the toes. The wide part of the foot should fit the wide part of the toebox. There should be no bulging or pressure on the little toe side of the foot.

If you are a pronator (flat foot), you must pay particular attention to the last of the shoe. The curve of the forefoot and the sole of the shoe should begin under the "ball" of the foot. Make sure that the arch of the shoe is adequate. Make sure your little toe does not push out the side of the toebox. The bend of the shoes should not match the bend of the foot at the ball.

Shoes should have a firm heel counter and laces of 3 or more eyelets. Laced, flatter shoes with firm heel counters are more supportive than unlaced or higher heeled shoes.

When a pair of shoes turns out to be exceptionally comfortable, remember the name of the manufacturer; the lasts are unusually well suited to your foot and such shoes are worth looking for. Because lasts vary so much, try on several sizes, not just the size you ordinarily wear. It may be necessary to try on several different pairs of the same shoes.