In general, Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle recommend shoes that are stable, supportive and have a firm sole. Acceptable shoes have sturdy construction as well as width and depth that will accommodate foot deformities like bunions or hammertoes. Many people will also benefit from shoes that have removable liners to accommodate upgraded insoles or custom orthotics.
Getting the right fit is critical. Some important tips:
- Get fitted for footwear at the end of the day when your foot size is at its maximum. It’s not unusual for a foot to increase half a shoe size in a day.
- Allow 1/2 inch (or the width of your index finger) between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size.
- The ball of your foot should match the widest part of the shoe and you should have plenty of room for your toes to wiggle without experiencing slippage in the heel. Women tend to have a narrower heel than men, so try on several models to find the right style.
- Wear the same weight of socks you intend to use during activity. Socks with a high cotton content retain moisture and cause blisters more easily. Look for socks that are made with synthetic fibers such as acrylic, polyester or Coolmax®.
- Athletic shoes no longer require a break-in period, but they’ll lose their cushioning after three to six months of regular use (or 350-500 miles of walking or running). It’s important to replace your shoes regularly. If they’re no longer absorbing the pounding and jarring action of the sport, you’re more likely to sustain knee and ankle injuries.
- Finally, just because a friend says that certain shoes are great for them, doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Try several pairs and simulate your desired activity on a firm surface to see what kind of support and cushioning you get.