How To Shop For Well-Fitting Shoes

Ladies, we’ve all heard those stilettos calling out to us as we shop for a pair of comfortable casuals. But don’t fall for another pair of pumps that require painkillers to make it through the day.

Comfort-footwear expert Peg Lucas-Swisher, co-owner of Sole Comfort in Albuquerque, N.M., and a certified pedorthist  — a professional trained in the assessment of lower-limb anatomy and biomechanics — offered Footwear News a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for a properly fitting shoe.

1. Know your size. Every shoe is constructed differently, so what fits in one style may not fit in another. And get your feet measured each time you shop. Just as with kids, adult feet change as people age.

2. Cushioning isn’t always the measure of a comfortable shoe. Lucas-Swisher warned that even the best material can compact over time, further forcing those with conditions such as over-pronation into these positions. “People need some firmness to hold up the foot,” she said.

3. Arch support is key. Consumers need to make sure the position of their arch properly aligns with the one built into the shoe.

4. Make sure there’s room for your toes. “Match the shape of your foot to the toe shape of the shoe,” Lucas-Swisher advised. Long toes fit best into longer-vamp shoes, while shorter toes are more suited to styles with shorter toe boxes.

5. More bounce is not always better. Outsoles should be soft enough to absorb the shock of walking, yet durable enough to withstand the natural pounding that comes with everyday walking.

6. Pumps are almost impossible to fit comfortably. The only way they can stay on, said Lucas-Swisher, is if you wear them a bit too small. You get the picture.

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