The Cinderella Effect: Finding Shoes That Fit

How many steps do you take in a day? Really think about it…. 1,000? 5,000? 7,000? 10,000+?
 
While this can be great for physical and mental health (#fitbitchallenge), it can often wreak havoc on our feet day in and day out. We’ve talked about foot care from an aesthetic perspective, but now let’s focus on why it’s important to care for them from a physical perspective.
 
First, a (Not so) Fun Fact: Did you know that nearly 90% of women own shoes that are the wrong size shoe? A study by Long Tall Sally of 3,000 women confirmed this.
 
Whether the shoes are too short, too narrow or too flat, women with larger shoes sizes are struggling across the board to find their soles. We often see women buy shoes in the wrong size due to lack of availability. For example, shoe manufacturers produce shoes in full and half sizes up through size 10 at which point they start to skip the half sizes and only provide shoes in sizes 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, etc. This doesn’t mean that women don’t have size 10.5 or 13.5 feet -- it simply means that they’re not able to find shoes that fit what they truly need.
 
Since women like us likely buy shoes in a less than perfect length, it’s essential that we look for well-fitted shoes in other ways. So how exactly should your shoes fit?
 
Your heel should fit firmly into the back of the shoe.
 
There is a fine line between a firm fit and a shoe that is too snug. The important distinction to remember here is that your foot should not be rubbing on the back of the shoe as you walk. If your heel is irritated, then it means that the fit is too small. Try to increase the length of the shoe (a half size, if possible) or look for a similar style from another manufacturer.
 
The middle of the shoe (near the laces) should be the tightest
 
When we try on shoes for fit, we typically focus on the toes and the heel so it’s important to highlight that the middle of the shoe is an integral indicator of overall “fit” as well. The middle of the shoe is the one part that should always be in contact with your foot. Particularly for us large-footed ladies that may need to buy a size up, the fit through the middle of the shoe is what will keep it on our feet for our 10,000 steps a day!
 
While this should be the “tightest” part of the shoe, it should not feel tight. You should be able to slip your finger in between the shoe and your foot to allow for movement throughout the day. This is what I like to affectionately call the “One Finger Test.”
 
There should be extra space in front of your toes
 
Similar to the “One Finger Test” to evaluate the tightness around the middle of the shoe, I also like to recommend a similar test for the front toe box. To ensure a good fit for your toes, we want to confirm two things: That your toes are free to wiggle as they’d like and that you have ½ inch of extra space in front of your big toe.
 
The “Thumb Test” is a great way to ensure a proper length for your shoes. When your foot is inside of the shoe, simply feel for your big toe and place your sideways thumb directly in front of it. If your foot and turned thumb line up with the front of the shoe, then you’ve found the perfect fit.
 
Extra Pro Tip: Feet expand and swell during the course of the day, so schedule your shopping trip to the end of the day. This will ensure that your new favorite shoes will fit comfortably all day.
 
For women, in particular, we often see changes in our feet over our lifetime due to pregnancy, aging and hormonal changes that cause the ligaments in our feet to relax. One way or another, you’re likely to have larger feet when you hit 60 than you did when you were 30.
 
While we can’t promise a “Cinderella-like” end to your special occasion, we can promise that your feet will be comfortable from start to finish if you follow these simple steps!
 
Do you have any shoe shopping tricks? Share them in the comments below!
Tags: All, July 2019

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