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Tips on buying footwear – 6 things to keep in mind while shoe shopping

20 May

Comfortable and well fitted shoes help in keeping a lot of foot problems away. But how to know if the shoe fits? Read on to find out.

Buying Time

Ever felt the need to take of your shoes during certain times of the day, when even the otherwise perfect pair seems tight? You are not alone. Our blood circulation increases as we walk around during the day, causing feet to swell-up.  It is thus advised that you purchase your shoes during work hours (noon) or in the evening (around 7-8pm), when blood circulation is at its peak. You will ensure you buy a well fitted shoe that is comfortable all day and not just early in the morning.

Right Size

It is important to wear the right size to prevent foot problems such as painful corns, calluses etc. Always have your feet measured by the salesperson, and correctly determine the size of both your feet. Do this every time you’re out shopping for footwear, as shoe size is never a constant across brands or even shoe type.

If your feet are not of the same size, buy the shoe that fits the larger foot. You can purchase an extra insocks or insole to fill space in the other foot. If you do not wish to buy an insole, simply peel one off from an old pair and paste it using adhesive in the new shoe.

Also, people with wider feet should look for shoes with broader toe area to prevent deformation of feet. Some international brands have sizes varying by width of foot too.

Toe and Heel

Your toe should not be squished against the shoe, there must be a little gap between the shoe and the thumb. Also, the toe should lie flat and not crunched by the sides of the shoe. Unless you are woman buying pointy toes, go for the broader toe ones that don’t cram your fingers.

The ankle should not feel friction from behind, and the shoe should fit snugly around the heel. When you walk, your heel should not slip or come out of the shoe, but neither be so tight so as to cause blisters.

Take a Walk

Always wear BOTH the shoes and take a walk around the store. If the shoe bites or pinches in any way while walking, it will continue to do so even when you leave the store. And no, contrary to what the shopkeeper might say, the shoe will NOT “open-up” or “break-in” with regular use. A good, high quality shoe should never de-shape. Id it is not comfortable in the store, it will not be after a week of wear either.

Check the Material

If you wish to buy a comfortable, long lasting shoe, check the quality of materials used. Leather is a very comfortable material that allows your feet to breathe, but if you are against buying leather products, you can go for PU coated synthetic shoes. Ensure you purchase synthetic shoes from reputed companies, as only few have the technology to manufacture high quality synthetic material. Also, if you are not buying genuine leather, don’t opt for a leather “look” (or raxine shoe). It is much lower on quality, and thus comfort.

Buying standardised and comfortable footwear prevents a lot of injuries and foot problems.

Tie the Laces

A common problem is breaking of laces after a few days of wear. While buying the shoe, pull and tie the laces like you normally would, and watch them for any sign of withering. Often, the laces break simply because the eyelets they go through have pointy edges that eat away the thread.  You may check the eyelets for smoothness, or purchase extra laces for emergencies.

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