Orthopedics advice on how to buy shoes that fit properly

Podiatrists in Utah see a lot of foot problems caused by poorly fitting shoes. Few factors are more important for orthopedics than wearing shoes that fit properly and support your arches and ankles.

Poorly fitting shoes are not just uncomfortable: they can cause orthopedics issues including pain in toe joints, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammer toes, inflammation, circulatory problems and more. Orthopedics issues don’t just affect your feet, though; pain and discomfort are felt by your entire body, making it even more important to treat your feet right.

Shopping tips for orthopedics health

When you shop for shoes, have a sales representative measure your foot. Even as an adult, the size of your foot changes. The best time to measure is at the end of the day, when your foot is largest from use. Most people have one foot larger than the other, so fit the shoes to the larger foot.

Choose shoes with an upper made of soft, flexible material that matches the shape of your foot. Leather shoes are less likely to cause skin irritation.

Don’t choose shoes with slippery soles. Instead, find soles that will provide you with secure footing. Thick soles give you more cushioning on hard surfaces, and low heels are more comfortable and safer for walking than high heels.

Although they might be stylish, flip-flops and ballet slippers give no foot support from a podiatrist’s perspective. Wearing them occasionally, such as around the pool deck or on the beach, is OK, but regular use can lead to pain in your arches and heels.

Don’t buy shoes according to the size printed on the label. Try them on to make sure they actually fit. There should be some space — but no more than a half-inch — between the end of the shoe and your longest toe. That’s not necessarily the big toe. For many people, the second toe is a little longer. Make sure that you toes have room enough to splay out a little and to move. This will provide the maximum orthopedics comfort over the long run.

Ensure your shoes are wide enough, too. Your feet will get wider as you age (and for women, after having children). Ironically, your toes are the widest part of your foot, even though most shoes don’t accommodate for this. Make sure your feet don’t feel squished or pinched.

To ensure shoes fit well, walk in them. A good salesperson will watch your stride to ensure foot comfort. The shoes should not pinch or feel tight, and the back of the shoes should not ride up and down on your heels with every step. They should feel comfortable the first time you put them on. Don’t assume you’ll break them in. Shoes will stretch a little, but that won’t make much of a difference, meaning those new shoes could cause you problems in the future.

Sports shoes for best foot protection

When it comes to athletic shoes, remember you put greater load and stress on your feet when you run. In turn, your feed can spread out, adding up to half an inch in length. When shopping for athletic shoes, remember to leave more room at the toes.

Many people bring on unnecessary pain by over-tightening laces. Leave them loose enough so your toes can flex comfortably and spread a little when you stand up.

For your orthopedic health, it’s also important that your socks fit well. Socks that are too small can contribute to hammer toes, corns, ingrown toenails and other problems.

Remember that even the best shoes will wear out eventually, depending on how (and how much) you wear them. When your shoes no longer feel comfortable, or they show signs of wearing out and breaking down, it’s time to replace them to maintain your optimal orthopedic health. For expert guidance on this subject and other issues critical to foot health and proper orthopedics in Sandy Utah, visit Heiden Davidson Orthopedics.

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