Patients often ask us, “what kind of shoes should I wear?” Generally, we may be able to provide some guidance on this, but it really comes down to knowing how to select the best shoe based on size and comfort.
Here are some specific things to look for and consider when purchasing new shoes.
Shop for the Biggest Foot
In many cases, people will have one foot that’s slightly larger than the other. It might only be a couple millimeters difference, but when that difference is present it’s important to measure your largest foot and find the best fitting shoe for that foot.
*Special note for women: Women will often lose their healthy arches during pregnancy. This is due to the hormonal changes causing ligament laxity combined with increased weight gain over that nine month period. It’s not uncommon for women to experience their feet to increase a half-size or even a full size. A flat foot is slightly longer than an arched foot.
The amount of arch loss may be greater in one foot than the other. Because of that, it is very important after your pregnancy, to check if one of your feet is larger than the other, and select your shoes based on the larger foot.
Have your Feet Measured
Merely assuming what size shoe you wear and trying on that size first may lead to improperly fitting shoes. For example, you may assume you wear a size 10, and because the first pair you try on feels fine, you make the purchase. However, if you would have had your foot measured first, you may have been told that you should select a size 10 ½. This seems like an obvious point, but most people don’t have their feet measured at the time of buying a new pair of shoes, and as a result they find themselves wearing a less than optimal size.
Buy the Correct Width
The challenge that many people have when buying new shoes is finding a pair with a suitable width. Many shoe manufacturers do not take into account those with narrow or wide feet. As a result, a lot of consumers end up stuffing their feet into a tight pair of shoes or having their feet swimming around in their shoes. When you have your feet measured, have the shoe clerk measure both width and length.
People with narrow feet may be able to alter their shoes slightly to accommodate their slender feet and prevent slipping inside their shoes. If you have narrow feet and you encounter this challenge, you may find that buying an over-the-counter cushioned insole will reduce the extra space inside your shoe, thus giving you a better fit.
On the other hand, those with wide feet cannot use this same technique as adding a cushioned insole will not provide additional room. Therefore individuals with wide feet will need to look for shoes that are made in varying widths.
Improve the Flexibility of your Feet
If you have stiff, non-flexible feet, you may have a more difficult time finding a good, comfortable pair of shoes. We find that people who get their feet adjusted will have stronger, more flexible feet. The improved flexibility and strength that gentle chiropractic adjustments provides, will allow your feet to fit more comfortably into a broader range of shoe types.
If you haven’t yet had your feet adjusted here at our clinic, you should talk to us about that on your next scheduled visit. We would be happy to take a look at your feet and determine if we can help improve your foot flexibility and/or function.