Did you know that most people have one foot larger than the other?


Wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly can help prevent many foot problems. Your feet can be slightly different in size and shape. Your feet can be different sizes during different parts of the day and change as you age.  Whatever size your feet are, it is important to buy the right shoes; shoes that will fit correctly and have the support that your feet and ankles need.

Here are some tips to consider when buying new shoes.

  • Shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet are the biggest.
  • Most people have one foot that is larger than the other, so buy shoes that fit the larger foot.
  • Have a salesperson measure your feet when you are standing as they expand under the weight of your body.
  • Try on both shoes before buying.
  • Allow 3/8″ to 1/2″ between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
  • The shoe should be as wide as necessary across the forefoot, the front of the foot, without allowing the shoe to ride up and down on your heel.
  • Do not buy shoes that are too tight and expect them to stretch. Shoes should feel comfortable right away.
  • Select shoes by how they fit, not the size on the box.
  • Consider the shape of your foot and the height of the shoe heel when selecting shoes. High heels shift your weight to the front of the foot and can cause problems like bunions, corns and hammertoes. Moderate heel height may be more comfortable  for people with flat feet, tendinitis or knee problems.

There are other factors to consider when picking out the proper shoes.

  • The area around your toes, called the toe box, should be roomy enough for your toes to rest comfortably. You should be able to wiggle your toes inside your shoes. Too much room in this area of the shoe allows feet to slide around and can cause callouses and other irritation. The most common problem people face is that the toe box is too tight.
  • The shoe’s “upper” is the material on top of the shoe. It should conform to your feet but also give when your foot moves. The upper should be made of a material that is nonirritating and allows air to flow through it.
  • Cushioning in the key three areas (the arch, the front or “ball” of the foot, and the heel) will help absorb shock on foot bones and muscles.
  • The part of the shoe that curves around your heel is called the “counter” and it needs to be stiff enough to prevent ankle strain and sprains. The back of your foot should fit snugly into the heel of the shoe without sliding around.

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