Saying Goodbye to Sandals
Here at Twin Cities Foot & Ankle Clinic, we’re Minnesotans ourselves, so we understand why you want to wear open-toe shoes as late into the season as possible. However, as summer winds to a close, it’s time to think about changing from sandals to shoes that provide a little more protection from the elements. If you’re on the market for new “kicks”, Twin Cities Foot and Ankle Clinic is here with a few tips on how to be sure your new shoes fit correctly.
Have you ever bought shoes that felt great in the store, but were uncomfortable or even painful when you wore them to work or school? Ill-fitting footwear can affect balance and circulation, cause ingrown toenails, bunions or calluses, and more. All of these, plus blisters, pinched toes, heel pain and the like can be avoided by following a few simple rules the next time you’re selecting new shoes.
When is the last time you had your foot measured? For many of us, the answer is never! We simply assume that once we reach adulthood, our feet stop growing. While your feet may technically stop growing, they continue to expand according to use, age, and weight. Just because you wore a size 9 when you graduated, doesn’t mean you’ll still wear a size 9 after years of walking and standing, or gaining 40 lbs. It’s good practice to have your feet measured each time you buy new shoes.
When trying on shoes, if your toes touch the end of the shoe, you should upsize. It is recommended that you leave about ½” or slightly less space between the end of your longest toe and the end of your shoe. Better yet, since your body weight may shift forward when standing, check the heal area for the ½” or so of additional room. Too little or too much room and your feet will develop blisters.
Don’t buy shoes in the hope that they’ll stretch as you break them in. While they will eventually give a little, the amount is rarely even noticeable. Shoes that are snug when you buy them are likely to remain so. Check for proper fit both lengthwise and widthwise.
If you’re planning to wear heavy socks with your new shoes, be sure to try them on while wearing heavy socks. The weight or texture of your socks can make a difference in how shoes fit.
Time it Right
Feet expand as the day progresses, so try to fit shoes in the late afternoon or evening. Your feet and legs will also be at their most tired, so you’ll get a good idea of how the shoe will feel after a long day on your feet.
Check the Mechanics
Good shoes should provide stability, but also have some give. To test this, grip the heel of the shoe in one hand and hold just above the heel in the other hand. The shoe should not move from side-to-side near the heel. If you hold the shoe at each end, you should be able to twist it a little. Where your toes bend, you should also be able to bend the shoe. Check the shoe’s arch and be sure it provides good support.
Schedule an Appointment
Twin Cities Foot and Ankle Clinic understands that switching from sandals to closed-toe shoes can take some adjustment. However, shoes that fit properly will feel better and make the transition from summer heat to cool autumn days a little less painful.
If you are in the Golden Valley or Woodbury, MN areas, we encourage you to make an appointment at Twin Cities Foot and Ankle Clinic to ensure your toes, feet, and ankles are ready for colder weather! Contact us for more information.