8 Shoe Shopping Tips


At NY Foot Health, we know that once summer hits, many patients want to make flip-flops their full-time shoe choice. Your average flip-flops, however, have zero arch or any other support whatsoever. Although this type of footwear is good to wear at the pool or beach to protect feet from being exposed to bacterial and fungal infections, wearing them for an extended period is likely to leave your feet hurting, as well as increase your risk for a foot injury or ankle sprain. It is possible to find well-designed sandals and summer shoes that will provide the proper support. Below are eight tips to take with you to the shoe store to ensure you purchase shoes that will not damage your feet.

  1. Get your foot professionally measured. It’s estimated that 75-90% of people are wearing shoes that are the wrong size for their feet. Get both feet measured and have the shoe sale person check the shoes you try on to see that they fit properly.

  2. Shop for shoes at the end of the day. That is when your feet will be the most swollen, and any problems with fit will be more obvious.

  3. Allow wiggle room for your toes. There should be about a half inch between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Avoid narrow, pointy toe boxes that squeeze your toes together because this can encourage the development of conditions like bunions and hammertoes as well as ingrown toenails.

  4. If you can bend a shoe in half from toe to heel, don’t buy them. This is an obvious sign of lack of support.

  5. Choose soft, high-quality materials, and be sure the shoes are well-made and properly finished. Rough stitching and unraveling edges will cause friction and irritation to the skin of your feet.

  6. Look for a structured design that will hold your foot in place and provide support all around.

  7. Be sure the insole has some padding and thickness to prevent foot pain on the ball and heel of your foot.

  8. Don’t buy shoes online. Try on both shoes and walk around for a while in the store. If they don’t feel comfortable, don’t buy them. A “breaking in” period is a myth!

You can always ask your podiatrist for suggestions about the best shoe designs for your particular foot. Don’t have a podiatrist? You can find one in our online directory. For more information on ways to keep your feet healthy, contact us.