When it comes to footwear, the possibilities are endless. From sneakers to flip flops, high heels to clogs, the shoes you’re wearing make a big statement about your overall outfit.
They also have a huge impact on the health of your entire body.
Whether they’re for running, walking, standing, or simply wearing to the grocery store, wearing the right shoes now plays a role in minimizing foot pain and worse in the future.
But how do you know what the best shoes are? Read on to learn more about choosing the right footwear and what podiatrists recommend.
How to Find the Best Shoes for You
Finding the best shoes starts with knowing your shoe size, and just because you’ve stopped growing doesn’t mean you should stop measuring your feet.
Your shoe size can change after pregnancy or as a result of any significant weight changes. It can even vary depending on the type of shoe and the brand. You should get your feet measured at a shoe store every couple years.
When shopping for shoes, trust the fit and feel of the shoe over the size in the end. Make sure you leave the store with shoes that are stable but not too rigid.
Some tips for finding the best shoes are to try on shoes at the end of the day. Our feet swell throughout the day, and you want to make sure your shoes will be comfortable all day long.
Most people have one foot larger than the other, so buy shoes that fit your larger foot, and be sure to consider your width and arch when measuring your feet as well.
Once you’ve nailed down your proper shoe size, don’t forget about the shoe’s material. Especially if you’ll be wearing these shoes for long periods of time, you want breathable fabric to avoid bacteria buildup and smelly feet.
Finally, the best shoes will be determined by the activity you’re buying them for. Running shoes need more cushioning in the heel, and you can make dress shoes more supportive with a supportive insole.
Wearing the Best Shoes Is Best for Your Health
Your feet bear the weight of the rest of your body, and that burden shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Wearing the right shoes means wearing shoes that fit comfortably for your foot type and provide the necessary amount of support. Shoes that fit well and are designed for your foot type prevent issues like blisters, calluses, and corns, as well as more serious conditions including plantar fasciitis, bunions, and flat feet.
Wearing the best shoes also provides the proper support to your entire body, improving your posture. If you’re wearing the wrong shoes, you’re putting strain on your feet and that leads to strain on your back, hips, and knees as well.
When it comes to performing certain activities, wearing proper shoes is even more crucial in improving performance and preventing injury. For example, running shoes are designed to absorb the impact and provide support for your feet and ankles. Hiking shoes, meanwhile, have thicker tread and are designed to provide traction and support on uneven terrain, helping you maintain your balance.
Finally, wearing the right shoes is all about comfort. This is especially important for people who spend much of the day standing or walking, such as teachers, healthcare workers, and people who work in retail or hospitality. You won’t last long wearing shoes that are too narrow or with too high an arch.
Many people can be turned off by the high price of good shoes—especially when it comes to sneakers to sandals—but we’re talking about your health here, and that’s not an area where you want to skimp.
Good quality shoes may cost more, but they’ll last longer and your body will thank you.
What Are the Top Podiatrist Recommended Shoes?
Any shoe store will help you measure your feet and make recommendations on the best footwear brands and styles. But there’s never any harm in checking with the experts.
So what are some shoe brands that podiatrists recommend for a variety of activities?
When it comes to standing all day, Hoka, New Balance, and Crocs are all recommended for their support, cushioning, and durability.
For sandals, Birkenstock, Chaco, and Vionic are praised for their style and variety as well as their stability.
For athletics, classic shoe brands like Nike, Saucony, Brooks, and Asics all make excellent shoes for running, walking, and more.
Lastly, for dress shoes, Rockport and Dansko both make shoes that are equally functional and fashionable. If you’re only interested in designer heels, it’s recommended that you get supportive insoles to enhance your comfort level and prevent injuries.
If you’re not getting the right support from any of your shoes, no matter the brand, custom orthotics might be the answer. Be sure to speak with your podiatrist about your best option.
Make Your Health Your Top Priority
Wearing the best shoes is all about taking care of yourself. Our feet take care of us, so it’s important to return the favor.
Foot health is not only about your feet, after all. How we treat them affects how the rest of our body feels and functions as well, and being in good health is in everyone’s best interest.
At the end of the day, however, there’s a lot more to consider in regards to foot health than which shoes you’re wearing.
The CMC Foundation was founded by a team of podiatrists who are dedicated to enhancing the medical education of both medical students and the general public. We do that through our STEPS program, which provides advanced training to orthopedic students and residents.
We also believe that gatekeeping health information from the public doesn’t help medical professionals because the better informed our patients are, the healthier we all are.
If you’re interested in supporting us, please consider making a donation or sponsoring one of our programs. We put all of the money donated back into our students and our mission of education.