Nothing can make you feel more tired or worn down than a pair of ill-fitting shoes. Since your feet carry you everywhere you need to go, investing in a pair of comfortable shoes will pay big dividends in terms of comfort, energy level, and productivity. The right pair of shoes really can make all the difference.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of comfortable shoes, there are a few criteria to ensuring a healthy new home away from home for your feet. First, shoes need to be in the correct size. If you’re like many adults, chances are you haven’t been measured for new shoes since you were a child. Although shoe size does tend to stabilize a bit in adulthood, changing sizes is still rather common due to weight fluctuations and pregnancy. Next time you’re looking for comfortable shoes, just ask a store associate to measure your size.
Once you know your size for both feet, the next most important factor to consider is support. There are different gait styles that are reflected in worn soles. For example, overpronators, or those whose ankles turn inward as they walk, typically have more wear on the inner side of the soles. Comfortable shoes for many overpronators include motion-control and stability shoes. Conversely, underpronators tend to benefit from shoes with more flexibility along the inner side of the sole, such as lightweight trainers, that give feet more freedom to roll inward. These are only a few of the more common gaits. Consult with a footwear professional. She or he can examine the soles of your current shoes and recommend comfortable shoes for you based on your personal wear patterns, preferences, and needs.
While recommendations and assistance from shoe sales associates can be very helpful, the final test is how the shoes feel on your feet. Since you’re the one who needs comfortable shoes, you need to ensure the shoes are comfortable before leaving the store. Try on the shoes using your typical hosiery or socks. Stand tall with all your weight on both feet. If you are able, lift each foot one at a time. As you balance on a single foot, take note of how supported the foot does or does not feel. If your foot doesn’t feel sufficiently supported, speak up now. Uncomfortable shoes can never become comfortable shoes. Once you have a supportive pair of shoes, walk, jump, run, or move in all the ways you move throughout your day. Don’t forget to move side-to-side or backwards. As you’re moving around, take note of any areas where the shoes uncomfortably rub or feel tight. Sometimes, it is possible to adjust or install cushioning over such problem areas. Again, ask your local footwear professional for assistance.
Your life is much too short to be suffering because of a poorly fitting or unsupportive pair of shoes. A pair of carefully chosen comfortable shoes may just be the thing to bring life back to your every step.