It’s best to shop for shoes at the end of the day, when our feet are swollen. Normally, body fluid will accumulate in our feet after a day of work or standing. Purchasing shoes at this time of day will provide a most accurate fit. Swelling is a normal response to organ function, and it can be easily relieved by elevating our feet and legs above heart level for 15 to 20 minutes. If this doesn’t relieve it, consult with your doctor.
Most of us have one foot that’s larger than the other. We must purchase the shoe size which will fit the larger shoe. One can purchase a foot lining to add to the shoe that will accommodate the smaller foot—and this should eliminate movement associated with the larger size.
Our shoe size changes throughout life. There are many reasons why this happens and this process is usually normal. There are some situations where an increase in an adult shoe size could be a problem indicator and in this situation, consultation with a Podiatrist is most appropriate.
It’s best to place our feet in a Brannock device (http://www.brannock.com) each time we purchase shoes. This is a metal instrument which has been first prototyped in 1926, and it is considered the gold standard for shoe measurement. This will always provide the most accurate shoe size requirement information. It’s best to be familiar with this device and demand this type fit analysis at the time of each purchase. Add the width of your thumb nail to the end of your longest toe. Most of us believe that our great toe is the longest toe, however the second or third toe may be the longest. Add this length to the longest toe and you may save the expense of visits to a Podiatrists office.
New shoes should feel good right away. Years ago we used to think that we needed to break in shoes for a more eventual “good fit”. This isn’t the case today. Put the shoes on in the shoe store and if they both feel good, take them home and wear them on a carpeted floor for a few days. If after this in home trial, comfort is confirmed, random shoe use is the next step. If however, the shoes don’t feel good at home, you should return them for a different size.
As I recommend shoe trees on a daily basis, I am surprised at the number of patients that mention that they never have heard of them. (http://tinyurl.com/254b5g9) Shoe trees are made of cedar, plastic and paper. I routinely recommend the cedar shoe trees. They should be used in all shoes. They will prolong twice the life of the shoes, and maintain their original shape. Shoe rotation is another good practice since this will maintain a healthy shoe environment and aid in increasing shoe life. Our feet perspire daily and this perspiration is harbored in our shoes. Even though some shoes breathe better than others, shoe rotation or never wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row will aid in reducing the likelihood of developing athletes foot.