Your shoes play an important role in your daily life, activities and treatment plan, so it’s important that they fit you well and you’re comfortable using them. Shopping for shoes can be an enjoyable experience, although for some people it can be a labour intensive process. We’re here to try and make it a little bit easier for you.
Have your Feet Measured
As we age or encounter an injury, our feet tend to change and it is important to have your feet measured each time you purchase new shoes (on a yearly basis, for example). The staff at many stores will offer to measure your feet, for both length and width, ensuring that the shoes you try on will fit your feet.
The staff at speciality retailers tend to have more experience with fitting shoes, as well as shoe or sport background. In many cases, the staff are involved in or passionate about activities relevant to the store that they are working in. The staff can be very knowledgable about specific features of a shoe, and how these features will work for you and your needs.
If you are looking for a specific type of shoe, it is usually best to shop at a store that specializes in that style. For example, if you are looking for an outdoor or hiking shoe, it’s best to try an outdoor store that will carry many varieties of the specific type of shoe. This allows you to try on different styles to ensure that you find one that fits you and your needs best. Some stores are equipped to allow you to try the shoes in similar terrain you will be using the shoes on. For example, some running shoe stores have treadmills and some outdoor stores have man-made rocky or hilled areas that allow you to try out the shoes in-store before you purchase them.
Do you Wear Orthotics? Try them in the shoes!
Ensure that the store that you are shopping at allows you to put your insoles in the shoes you’re trying on. Trying the custom orthotics will give you a better idea of how they feel in the new shoe. If they don’t feel quite right, you can always bring the shoes to your practitioner to see if the devices can be tweaked for your shoes.
Many stores allow you to return shoes that you have purchased and not yet worn outside (within a designated time frame). There are times when a shoe feels comfortable in the store for a short period, but once you get it home and wear it for a longer period of time, it doesn’t feel quite as comfortable as you remember. If that’s the case, return the shoes to the store and try a different size or a different shoe altogether.
Unfortunately, shopping for good quality shoes with a proper fit can be expensive. To help combat this, some stores have email lists and catalogues that offer insight into upcoming sales or new releases. It’s always a good idea to determine what you’re willing to spend (and actually able to spend) on new shoes.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! As insignificant or silly that you may think they are, the staff should be able to advise you on fit, feel, similar styles, and features of the specific shoe. If you’re unsure about a shoe, the staff can note the shoe and style that you tried on so you can do more research at home or by contacting your foot care practitioner. Don’t forget to ask what their return policy is like!
Although it can seem like a process, a good shoe store and the staff can make it a much more enjoyable experience.
If you have any questions about your footwear or shopping for new footwear, don’t be afraid to reach out to the team for more information on footwear.