Shopping for the perfect pair!

Whether it is dressing up for a business meet or Saturday night out, your dress code is never complete without the right pair of shoes. But before you go shopping, knowing about your foot type and what fits comfortably is something you must watch out for.

Know your feet
There is no one type of shoe that is best for all. Our feet are designed to bear our weight and for propulsion. The multiple bones and joints in the foot make it flexible. In most cases, some of the bones of our feet are arranged as an arch along the inner side of the foot, leaving a gap between the ground and the foot. Some people have an arch higher than average. Those who have a smaller arch are said to have flat feet. Some people with a higher arch have their ankle rolled outwards slightly. This is called pes cavus.

Before going shopping, if you cannot see a podiatrist or a physical therapist to find out your foot type, simply wet your feet and walk on a dry floor. If your footprint is dry where your arch is, it means you are high-arched or a supinator. You need to choose footwear with maximum cushioning to support the high arch.

If your footprint is completely wet, you are flat-footed or a pronator. Therefore you would need shoes with insoles that support the arch and provide stability and motion control.

You have a neutral arch if the area beneath is slightly dry and you can wear shoes of a combination of the above.

Go shoe shopping preferably in the latter half of the day when feet tend to swell up a bit. Have both your feet measured, every time you go looking for shoes. If one foot is larger than the other, choose the size of footwear that fits the larger one.

The width and the depth of the feet are as important as their length. Select footwear according to the activity it is needed for – walking, jogging, sports, standing for several hours or just casual walk footwear.

Shopping for good footwear
It is worth spending quality time researching and shopping for a comfortable pair of footwear. It can alleviate many potential foot woes.

Here are some tips to help you discover that perfect pair for yourself.
· Buy your own footwear; never assign that task to anyone else.
· Do not be tempted only by trendy, fashionable footwear. Look for comfort and durability! Do not judge any footwear just by its price or brand.
· Choose flexible and flat shoes for walking. Avoid wearing shoes with high heels if you walk considerable distance. Prolonged use of high heels may cause back pain.
· Buy footwear with a comfortable fit. Do not buy tight fitting shoes in the hope that they will stretch over time.
· Always try on new shoes, wearing socks that you usually use.
· Avoid footwear with pointed toes; opt for ones with a rounded tip to allow for comfortable movement of toes.
· Do not select shoes that are too stiff and do not bend. They should be flexible; however they should bend at the ball of the feet and not in the middle.
· Do not buy footwear which does not have good grip or have a very smooth and slippery bottom. Be sure your heel does not slip out while you walk.
· Airy open sandals with adjustable straps can accommodate swollen feet, give ample space for the toes and are convenient to use for walking, especially during summer. If you need shoes for running or trekking, choose ones with a rubber sole which have a better grip than polyurethane soles which are, however, more durable. If you need footwear just for casual wear any porous fabric with a good foot support will do.
· If you never seem to find that perfect pair of footwear and continue to be plagued by foot problems such as bunions or corns, seek professional help.
Caring for your feet and choosing the right footwear ensures you’re up and marching about with elan! So let’s hear it for prudent shoe shopping and happy foot health!

Powered by Bolohealth
Image: Flickr Creativecommons northampton_museum