If the Shoe Fits…It’s Ugly

Feet are smarter than you think. First, they have the second highest concentration of nerve endings in your body. Because of this, feet can quickly assess hundreds of fit considerations: toe box too tight, toe box too loose, arch support too low, arch support too high. So the next time you purchase shoes, especially for exercise, use your foot’s brainpower and follow these steps:

Posted on | Scott K. Forman, MD | Comments ()

Feet are smarter than you think. First, they have the second highest concentration of nerve endings in your body. Because of this, feet can quickly assess hundreds of fit considerations: toe box too tight, toe box too loose, arch support too low, arch support too high. So the next time you purchase shoes, especially for exercise, use your foot’s brainpower and follow these steps: 

  1. Your foot is like your thumbprint; each one is unique. Therefore, a great fitting shoe for your friend will not necessarily be a great fitting shoe for you.
  2. Try on at least 5 pairs of shoes. The only person to receive a shoe that fit perfectly was Cinderella. The rest of us will simply have to strive for almost perfect. By comparing 5 different shoes for comfort only, one of these pairs will standout.
  3. Put on the first pair of shoes and walk around the store. Walk on the carpet and walk on the wood floor. Rate the shoes 1-10 for fit only. Do this for all 5 pairs of shoes. I guarantee one of the pairs will feel like magic shoes – buy it! 
  4. A word about orthotics – most people do not need orthotics. Inserts, especially custom ones, are meant to treat a very specific, pathologic condition, usually for a limited period of time. Orthotics can be expensive and must not only fit your foot, but fit your foot inside of a shoe. This can be a taxing process, which usually results in a loss of time and money.
  5. Beware the salesman that says, for mild fit problems, “Don’t worry it takes time to break-in the shoe.” My experience is that the shoe will break you, before you break it. 
  6. My best tip to purchase a sassy, stylish shoe that is comfortable is to bring a ruler to the shoe store. The widest part of the shoe should be one-half inch smaller than the widest part of your forefoot. I think you will be pleasantly surprised that you can have fit and fashion.
  7. Adding an inch or two to the heel height can sometimes make your foot more comfortable (and your husband and boyfriend won’t mind either.) Again, your feet are smarter than you think, they will “tell you” the appropriate height to purchase.  

Follow these steps and you will comfort your sole. 

Blog written by Scott K. Forman, MD
Dr. Scott Forman is a board certified orthopedic surgeon whose specialty interests include sports medicine of the knee, shoulder,...