No matter how lovely a pair of shoes may look, you never really want to sacrifice the comfort. At the end of the day, the most important functions that a reliable shoe should perform are still support and protection.
If the shoe is going to support your foot, it’s also going to help the muscles of the foot strain less, which only translates into a more comfortable shoe. Plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and heel pain- are all foot pains caused by lack of support from your shoes. Blisters and calluses are no joke and you shouldn’t undermine the support and comfort of your shoes.
For instance, an effective arch support is mandatory to have in both walking and running shoes. This type of feature reduces the risk for over pronation and overuse injuries. Don’t forget that orthotic innersoles are also an option to add to any shoe, for more support and comfort.
Lightweight and effective shock absorption are also features that a good shoe should present. These are only few of the features that matter so let’s take a closer look so that you know, for this day forward, what counts the most when buying.
Stability and nice cushioning- they matter!
As you may have noticed by now, not all walking shoes come with gel pads or roll bars, but some features are great for offering stability and cushioning:
- Heel collar- it provides better fit as it cushions the ankle
- Achilles tendon protector- it lowers the strain of the Achilles tendon as it locks the shoe around the heel
- Toe box- it offers a nice space for your toes. A round and roomy toe box is going to reduce the risk for developing calluses
- Insole- it supports and comforts the arch and foot. Keep in mind the removable insoles solution which you may take out and dry when you come back home
- Upper- it maintains the shoe on your foot. Mesh, material and leather are the most common options for this part of the shoe. Mesh is lightweight and breathable, whereas leather is more durable and takes the elements pretty good, especially if it’s waterproofed.
- Gel/foam/air midsole- any of this type of material is going to cushion and lower the impact when your foot is touching the ground.
- Outsole- it’s what comes in contact with the ground. If you’re looking for hiking shoes, treads and grooves are fundamental as they improve traction and give stability on various surfaces.
Take a look at the shape of your feet!
Feet come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In order to minimize the risk for any foot pain, you should take a closer look at the shape and size of your feet. Even if you’re going to a special event, you still should be able to fit your foot just fine in the shape of your shoes. No event is worth the blisters or the discomfort afterwards.
Width and length matter
Despite of what one may think, it’s not only the narrow shoes that may cause calluses and blisters, but also the too wide ones. If the toe box isn’t high enough, unable to offer enough space for the toes, the risk for some foot disorders to worsen is pretty high. Bunions and hammertoes are only going to get worse when the toe box isn’t right for your toes.
Do you know which type your arch is?
The sophisticated alignment of muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments in your feet create side to side (metatarsal) and lengthwise (longitudinal) arches. When you’re walking, it’s the flexible and springy arches that are going to distribute your body weight nice and evenly across your foot. The arches are fundamental also when you’re adjusting to various surfaces.
You may identify your foot type by dipping it in water and stepping on a piece of cardboard afterwards. Take a good look at the footprint. You may have low arches if you’re able to see the most of the footprint. One with high arches is only going to see only a bit of the foot print. You shouldn’t feel pressure about not having the best type of foot as there is no such thing. The best shoe is the one that fits your feet the best, providing comfort and fit all the time.
Here are the main categories of feet:
- Low-arched/flat feet- low arches and flat feet may cause muscle stress and joint issues in some people, but that’s doesn’t happen every single time. If your feet sit on the flat side, you may simply use a walking shoe with motion control and straight last for stabilizing your feet. The last is related to the shape of the sole and the footprint use for building the shoe.
- Neutral-arched feet- in this case, your feet aren’t overly flat nor overly arched either. You should look for shoes with firm midsoles, straight to semi curved lasts. The rear-foot stability should be moderate.
- High-arched feet- high arches may be the main cause for excessive strain on your muscles and joints. Your feet aren’t able to absorb shock very well, especially when you’re jumping or going through a lot of impact. Your shoes need to offer plenty of cushioning in order to compensate the lack of natural shock absorption. In some situations, a curved last is going to help a lot too.
How to obtain the best fit?
No matter how great they’re on the shelf, no best shoe is going to work for you if it doesn’t fit right. Here are some tips to keep in mind when buying:
- If you’re planning to get athletic shoes, you should go to a specialized store that provides professional fitters. A store that gives you plenty of options is another solution to try.
- Wear the same socks you typically wear or take them with you when shopping.
- If a foot is larger than the other, you should always get shoes that fit better the larger foot.
- It’s best that you go shopping for shoes later in the day, after you’ve been walking for some time. Your feet are larger in that time of the day.
- Try the shoes on both feet, wiggling your toes. You should have at least 0.5in between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Go a larger size if that’s smaller than 0.5 in.
- Measure both feet and go shopping with a friends. Measure your feet when buying your shoes as your foot size may change in time. In order to get the most precise measurement, you need to stand while measuring your feet.
- The shoe should be wide enough. The side-to-side fit of the shoe shouldn’t be tight, but snug. Women with wide feet may want to have a go with the men’s or boy’s shoes as they’re cut a tad larger through the ball and heel.
- Always walk in the shoes before sealing the deal. A good pair of shoes should feel comfortable when you put them on. The heel has to fit snugly, with no slipping whatsoever.
Should you buy shoes online?
Even if trying your shoes before buying is ideal, the online stores are a great solution too. A very good example is FSJshoes.com. Funny she Jill (FSJ) is a shoes brand, synchronized with the international fashion, taking super fashion design as well as an attractive price.
It was launched in 1998 and they provide a complete assortment of merchandise to clients worldwide. They take price with their exceptional craftsmanship, fashionable deisgn and very attractive and fearless cut. Before you launch yourself on a shopping spree, don’t miss out on these FSJ Shoes discount codes and coupons.
After all, you don’t just want a good pair of shoes, but also one that doesn’t empty your pockets so give it a go next time you’re looking for nice shoes.
Never wear your shoes too much
All shoes are going to show signs of wear, sooner or later. Even if they still feel comfortable and don’t show much outer wear, they may still fail on providing the same support or shock absorption like how they did in the beginning.
Here are some signs that you need to buy new shoes:
- The outsole looks worn
- If you run/walked 300-400 miles in the shoes
No matter if your shoes show it or not, most shoes are going to lose their impact protection after 300-400 miles. It’s not a bad idea to mark the calendar when you’ve reached the maximum mileage so that you know when you should change them.
One last thought for the road
Even if the looks count in some situations, you shouldn’t forget that comfort and support make the shoes good for you or not. The options are many both in stores or online and it’s not that complicated to find the best one for you.