Research shows that our feet shrink or grow in size at periodic intervals. It is no wonder then that the size that fitted us perfectly last year is not the same this year. It is very important to select shoes that fit us well to avoid causing aches and pains in the back and legs.
Old and worn out shoes can cause severe back pain, aching feet, and extremely sore knee joints. It is time to get yourself a new shoe if your shoes have given you more than 550 miles if you use them for running or walking. If you use your shoes for sports, your shoes will start wearing out after 70 hours of active use. Most expensive shoes will show no outward wear and tear, so you cannot wait for the heel to wear out or the shoe to tear before you replace it. If your old shoe has served you well, it will be safer to go for the same brand and fit rather than trying out something new each time.
To look for the correct fit for your feet, you need to first familiarize yourself with the factors that tend to affect the fit of your shoe.
Interestingly, about 80% of our population has one leg longer than the other. In some people, one end of their foot is extremely pliant while the other end is extremely unbending. Also the knee and feet alignment varies in different people. For some people, feet turn in or out or point straight outwards. Similarly, the knees could be in a neutral position, bow out, or knock against each other. Each of these factors play a role in the actual fit of the shoe.
Knowing about the common irregularities in feet will also help you in asking for the right shoe. If you have highly arched feet, avoid motion and stability control shoes as they tend to reduce the mobility of your foot. Inserting special customized pads into your shoes will correct this irregularity. Flat footed people with no or low arches in their feet, should go for stability control or motion control shoes with a sturdy mid-sole. Those with excessive inward rolling of foot while in motion (over-pronation) can cause severe strain on lower legs, ankles, knees, and back. And those with under-pronation, that is when the outside of your foot bears the shock when your foot hits the ground, are more prone to ligament injuries in the feet. Stability shoes are ideal for those with over or under pronation, preferably with a roll bar or dual-density midsole.
It is important to buy shoes only from a store that has knowledgeable sales personnel and displays a wide choice of shoes. Although the shoe industry promotes the idea of different shoes for different uses, when it comes to athletic shoes, you need either a running shoe or a cross trainer. There are three main categories: motion control, neutral cushioning, and stability control. There are two types of sports shoes; one that is good for frequent stop-go movements, and one that is ideal for running or walking.
Always go shoe shopping only in the evenings when your feet are slightly larger than in the mornings due to the day’s activity.
You need to also try on several pairs before deciding on the one that fits you best. Then, you should wear the shoes and walk around the store for at least five minutes to gauge your level of comfort. Only select those shoes that are somewhat shaped like your foot for added comfort. Remember to take your socks with you when you go to purchase shoes. You will find out the exact fit only when you wear your shoes with the socks that you normally use. Your feet should be supported on all sides and should not flop around inside the shoe. The shoe with the best fit is one that offers some cushioning, quite a bit of flexibility, and lots of stability, and a maximum of half an inch more than your longest toe.
It is amazing what a good sports shoe can do to generate enthusiasm for outdoor activities. Wearing a good shoe with a perfect fit, can help you go the extra mile effortlessly and painlessly. A pair of good shoes is your key to an active and healthy life.