Finding the Right Shoes


Finding the right shoes that are comfortable and allow you to best do your daily activities and stay active can be tricky. As we age, foot wear becomes more important because we can lose the protective layers of fat from the bottoms of our feet. This may cause more impact from your heels to the ground which can contribute to pain in your feet and other places in your body.

Walking is a great way to get low impact exercise, and to be able to walk for longer and further, having a good pair of shoes can really help.
Finding good shoes will also depend on the type of feet you have. One way is to perform the “wet foot test”.

To do this, when you step out of the shower, step out onto a towel or piece of paper that will show your footprint. If the footprint is flat, your arches are likely low. If you have a crescent shaped footprint where you can see the imprint of the outer part of your foot, then you may have average arches. If there is a crescent shape but the middle of your foot is unpronounced, or the middle is missing on your footprint all together, you may have a higher arch.

Once you’ve identified the type of feet you have, you can choose your shoes accordingly to get a great fit:

For those with low arches – People with low arches or flatter feet need extra support when looking for shoes. Those with low arches also tend to have overpronation, which means your feet roll inward. This can create extra wear on the outside heel and inside forefoot of your shoes.
Shoes with ample support with firmer midsoles to compensate the lack of an arch are great for those with flatter feet. If you have very flat feet, extra cushioning might also be desirable. Finding shoes specifically for those with overpronation can help you feel as comfortable as you can.

For those with average arches – You have a neutral curve on the inside of your feet, and your shoes appear to wear evenly from the bottom of your shoe.
Some companies will produce what they call a “stability shoe”, which provides a combination of cushioning and support for those with standard feet.

For those with high arches – High arches can be seen in those who have little contact from the arch of their foot with the ground. The majority of contact from the foot to the ground will be from the forefront of the foot and heel. Another clue you might find is that your shoes wear out mostly on the outside edge of your shoe. Those with high arches tend to have underpronation (also called supination), meaning your feet roll outward. This causes wear on the outer edge of the heel and the little toe.
A shoe with a soft middle sole and thicker heels is best for this type of foot. Finding shoes specific to underpronation can help you be as comfortable as possible.

Find a pair of shoes that you love but don’t have a great fit? That’s okay! Orthotics can really help you out. Using the above advice, you can find a pair of orthotics which can really make a huge difference in your shoes.

If you have additional concerns about foot ware a podiatrist can diagnose any issues you might have and make appropriate recommendations.