Every so often it happens that you land up buying the wrong pair of shoes that not only hurts your wallet but your feet as well. Wearing the wrong shoe especially on an everyday basis may not just aggravate foot problems; but may also become the cause of foot ailments. However, with the right shoe; the wearer can always prevent foot ailments and depending on the type of activity that he/she indulges in; should pick a shoe that best suits his nature of activity, foot type and body type.
Determine the Profile of your Arch
First and foremost; it is important to determine and understand profile of your arch. There are 3 basic arch profiles: Normal Arch, Flat Arch and High Arch. Examine your footprint carefully and observe your arch type. If the footprint shows half arch; then you have a normal arch. A normal arched foot is generally well balanced and therefore versatile enough to function well in most shoe types. If the wearer’s activity involves a fair amount of running or walking; then stability shoes would be an ideal option. A moderate cushioned shoe or shoes with moderate features are also well suited for light weight runners.
If the footprint shows your entire foot, then you are said to have a flat arch or a low arch. With this arch type; the inner side of the foot is not well supported. Therefore, a motion controlled shoe is well suited for this type of arch as it can aid in the prevention of inward pronation.
If the footprint shows just the ball and heel of the foot; it is referred to as a high arch shoe. A cushion shoe would be an ideal choice for this type of arch as a high arch does not adequately absorb shock and a cushion shoe would aid in the restoration of natural inward pronation.
Assess the Shape of your Ankles
For skinny ankles; bulky or chunky shoes are a strict no-no. Not only will these look oversized; they will prove to a complete mismatch with your body type. Delicate shoes with elegant heels (optional) and pointed toes would be an ideal choice. For ankles that are thicker; a bolder shoe will be able to match and balance the ankle width. Ankle straps or heels with curves should be avoided. When buying boots; ensure that the top part of the boot snugly fits around the calf. Select boots that suit and complement the shape of your legs. A thick heeled boot will help balance a fuller body. For shorter legs; ankle straps should be avoided as they make them appear even shorter. Mules and thongs are an ideal option for those with medium to short legs. Most importantly; shoes that pinch can be devastating for your feet.
Picking the Right “Running Shoe”
Running shoes need to be replaced on a regular basis in order to keep your feet in good health at all times. Running shoes are manufactured keeping different variants in mind. When buying a running shoe; it is important to determine the length, shape, type and width of your foot. This way; you will be able to buy a running shoe that is comfortable, with adequate cushioning and is able to reduce tension on the foot and body, and enhances the balancing factor while running. Determine the shape of the shoe by look at the bottom of the shoe and carefully observe and determine if it is curved, semi curved or straight. Select the shape that precisely corresponds with the shape or footprint of your foot. Most importantly; check the inner sole of the shoe. Running shoes that are stitched down the middle are most likely more lightweight as well as flexible. In order to ensure a perfect fit; it is advisable to try out shoes towards the late afternoon or evening; as your feet tend to be a tad larger in size towards the end of the day.
When shopping for walking shoes; ensure that the front part of the shoe flexes or bends easily. After putting on the shoes; wiggle your toes to ensure that the toe box has enough room for toe movement. Also ensure that the heel is snugly cupped within the shoe and offers adequate cushioning and stability. Lean back on your heels after putting on the shoes; and ensure that your heels are well supported. Walk around the showroom taking gradual steps from heel to toe. Ensure that there is no pinching or any kind of resistance. Furthermore, a thick tongue is preferred in order to prevent the friction or pressure on the foot caused by the laces. Padding on the ankle collar is a must for running shoes as they secure the Achilles tendon.