Tips to Find Shoes that Fit
Finding shoes that fit properly helps with having a comfortable day and helps prevent problems with your feet both short and long term.
- Have a lie in- In the morning your feet are relaxed. Throughout the day feet start to swell so buying shoes in the evening will prevent you getting shoes that don’t fit the next morning.
- Your feet change in size – Feet can keep growing up until your mid-twenties. After that your feet stay the same size right? No. As you get older, the bones in your feet relax and elongate. Estimates show that after 40 people gain approximately half a shoe size each year. So make sure to get your feet measured at least one per year.
- One foot is bigger? – Your feet are probably not the same size. One foot will generally be longer or wider than the other. This is why it’s important to try both shoes and make sure to fit your pair to the larger foot. It is always possible to add insoles to make the fit more snug. As yet, we have not found a way to increase the space with a shoe.
- Pull a ballerina pose! – Well sort of. A commonly overlooked step in buying shoes is forgetting to check arch length – the distance from the big toe joint to the ball of the foot. The arch of your foot should match the curvature of the inner side of the shoe. A good way to check this is to stand on the tips of you toes (hold onto something if you’re not a ballerina). The shoe should bend with your big toe. If not, its best to try a different size.
- Dont forget your socks – Make sure you bring the socks you are going to be wearing with the shoes you are buying. This is especially important for sports shoes because for many you’ll be wearing thicker socks (e.g. football/rugby). And as insignificant as you think they are, they have a big effect on the correct shoe fitting.
- Leave some room – Everything likes some space. Even your toes. Make sure they have some breathing room by leaving about two fingers width between your big toe and the end of the shoe.
- Tie them up – A frequent overlook is not tying up your new pair. This one seems obvious. It gives you a feel of the shoes and leads well onto the next tip…
- Take a hike – Whatever you use your shoes for you are going to be moving. You don’t have to run a marathon. But just check there are no rubbing points on your feet by walking a lap or two of the shop. If you are after specialist shoes like running trainers, many shops will have a treadmill. On there you can see how they feel by doing the sport you’ll be using them for. (Note: Many running shops will also have video cameras. Once they slow the speed down, they can check your form and advise you whether the shoes are good for you.)
If you need shoes size references: