Like shoes, sneakers serve important purposes. Two main functions include cushioning our body weight and protecting our feet. Getting a proper fit for sneakers is super important, as we wear them for activities when our bodies are under varying amounts of physical stress, such as while running. Today, with a reduction of traditional shoe stores offering personalized fittings, many people turn to the internet to make purchases. Sometimes consumers are confused over what to buy and don’t know whether to size up or down. While ordering sneakers online is convenient, it can result in choosing ill-fit footwear that offers poor support and comfort. Don’t worry. Here are some tips to get a great fit:
1) Measure your shoe size – If you can’t get your feet measured at a shoe store, invest in a foot sizing device. While measuring shoe size alone cannot 100% guarantee a perfect fit, having each foot accurately measured can help. That is because in most cases, shoe companies try to design footwear that is true to size. Per FootCareMD, “Your foot size and shape can change over time. Don’t rely on the fact that you have always worn a certain size.” They also advise fitting your shoes to the larger foot, as most people have one foot that is slightly bigger than the other. Also, to avoid a tight or uncomfortable fit, measure your feet at the end of the day when your feet are likely to be most swollen.
2) Choose a sneaker that offers support and a good shape for your foot – There are lots of sneakers on the market. To get the best support, consider what activities you partake in and match the sneaker accordingly. For example, if you run, a flexible running shoe can provide additional cushioning at the heel and some stretching at the toes. For those who ride bikes, a cycling shoe is sturdier and stiffer for support while pedaling. Also consider the shape of the shoe, including the depth and width. For example, if you have bunions, a wider shoe may provide more comfort.
3) Read reviews – It is sometimes hard to determine quality and overall comfort when purchasing sneakers online. One of the best things to do is read reviews. Generally, if most people provide favorable feedback, it’s a good bet that the quality is on target. If most people dislike the sneakers, it’s likely best to avoid buying them. Doing price comparisons of similar products can also help you determine if the design is worth the price.
4) Visit the company website – Sometimes popular brand websites will provide a breakdown of the sneakers, describing the materials and highlighting the structure, quality, and design. Some companies offer diagrams and informational videos to promote their product and guide buyers. An educated consumer is the wisest consumer, so it’s well worth your time to do your homework.
5) Try them on – Most people are tempted to try on sneakers they ordered as soon as they arrive in the mail. Stop! It’s best to wait until the end of the day when your feet are most likely to be swollen. If the sneakers are tight and lack toe space, it is best to seek a better fitting shoe. Per FootcareMD, “Stand up and make sure there is 3/8” or ½” (about the width of your finger) between your longest toe (usually the second toe) and the end of the shoe.” They also recommend standing up and walking around in the shoes to make sure there is no chafing or rubbing or sliding. Any areas of discomfort suggest an ill-fitting shoe that should be returned.
Our feet are important because they support and carry us throughout the day. Any problems with our footwear choices, including wearing poorly designed sandals, shoes, or sneakers, can have a negative effect on other parts of our bodies, such as our knees and hips. Thus, it’s vital to take care of our feet and invest in good footwear. Choosing shoes that are sturdy, comfortable, and well-fitting can help prevent accidents. It’s also important to address any physical issues related to the feet with a doctor. If you are uncertain which type of sneaker or footwear is best for your feet based on special needs, your doctor may recommend a medical grade shoe or sneaker to provide the ultimate support, so that you can feel secure with each new step.
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