I often encounter patients who have difficulty in finding the right shoes. Here are some suggestions to help you find the proper pair.
1. Try on shoes later in the day, not in the morning.
- As the day progresses our feet enlarge due to gravity pulling fluid from our body to its lowest point, our feet;
- People have been puzzled when shoes that they bought the previous morning, no longer fit them the next afternoon. It’s just gravity doing its thing.
2. Get both feet measured each time you get new shoes.
- Usually one foot will be slightly larger than the other and you need to get the size to accommodate the larger foot;
- Foot size can change over time. As we age the ligaments holding our arches up can stretch, leading to a larger, flatter foot.
3. Make sure the forefoot flexes in the right place.
- Some shoes do not flex where your foot naturally flexes as you toe off. This will make the shoe feel overly stiff and make faster running more difficult, possibly leading to a calve muscle strain.
4. Bring any orthotics or shoe inserts that you use with you to put in the shoe.
- Orthotics or inserts are generally more built up than the insoles that come with shoes;
- An orthotic can make your shoe too tight so you may have to go up in size;
- Some orthotics have a heel cup that is elevated; this can cause your heel to slip out of the back of the shoe.
5. Most importantly- get the proper shoe for your foot type.
- Overpronators should have stability or motion control shoes;
- Oversupinators should have cushioned shoes;
- Normal foot mechanics can have cushioned or neutral shoes;
- When in doubt, ask for an assessment to see what foot type you have;
- Foot types can change over time. The most common change I see is from a normal foot to an overpronator due to a collapsing of the arch in the foot.
These five tips should go a long way to serving you well in your quest for the right running shoes.
Don’t forget that going to a specialty running store with properly trained staff is as equally important in getting into the correct pair of shoes for your specific needs.