Anthony Harper, Canadian certified pedorthist and president of the Pedorthic Association of Canada, shares his advice for choosing shoes that are good for your feet:
Match foot and shoe shape. For a shoe to fit properly, the shape of the shoe must match the shape of your foot. If your foot looks wide and square then your shoe should mirror it. Ignoring this important step fit may cause discomfort, pain and accelerated shoe wear.
Different-sized feet. Most people have one foot larger than the other, either in length or width. Always buy shoes to fit your bigger foot.
Check your size. The size and shape of your feet can change throughout your life, from a variety of factors including aging, pregnancy or weight gain.
Quick fit test. An easy way to check if a shoe’s size and shape are a fit is to remove the insoles from the shoe. Step down on the insole with each foot and look to see if your foot protrudes over the edges. If it does, then you know the shoe is not the right fit for your foot.
Don’t use hand-me-downs. Wear patterns created by the previous owners will not provide the best support for your feet.
Functional vs. fun. Harper advocates the 80/20 rule. Wear stable, comfortable shoes for most of your daily activities for optimal foot health. To minimize the risk of injury, always wear activity-appropriate footwear and limit wearing flip flops, high heels or other less supportive shoes to less than 20 per cent of the time.
Shopping time. Always shop for shoes later in the day when your feet have expanded and are at their largest.
More information can be found at pedorthic.ca/footwearselection.