Comfort and durability are important when selecting footwear. A shoe must conform to the shape of your foot and not vice versa. If your activities include walking long distances or standing for a long time, you must purchase shoes appropriate to those activities. Ill-fitting shoes that lack support can stress the feet, ankles, hip and spine, and lead to pain and deformities that prevent you from participating in your regular activities.
Shoes for children should accommodate the growth of the feet, and not apply pressure on the developing muscles and tendons around the ankle. Soft-soled, low-cut shoes with adequate space for the toes to wiggle are recommended. Women's shoes should not have heels higher than 2 1/4 inches as that increases pressure on the underside of the forefoot. Regular use of pointed shoes compresses the toes and can cause deformities such as bunions and hammertoes.
There are a few important points to keep in mind when buying shoes:
- Feet usually swell towards the evening, so it is preferable to purchase shoes at this time to ensure the perfect fit.
- Measure your feet at least once a year, preferably standing up as there may be changes.
- Always try on shoes for fit and walk around in them for comfort as sizes may vary for different brands.
- There should be adequate space for your toes to wiggle and at least a half inch gap between your longest toe and the end of the shoes. Too much toe space should be avoided as it can make the feet to slip back and forth causing toe problems.