If you’re reading this, then it is safe for us to assume that you are already aware that shoes are more than just amazing accessories for our outfit. They protect your feet, support your body weight, and not to mention, help you go about your day feeling comfortable. Shoes provide as much outer protection as they take care of the health of your feet, or at least ideally so. The right shoe that is fitted perfectly for your feet will help prevent common but painful foot problems like bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. And you can make sure you pick the most comfortable shoes for yourself by keeping a basic guideline in mind when you are eyeing your next footwear buy.
SIZE: Unsurprisingly, one of the most important factors determining how comfortable you feel in your shoes is the size of your feet. Wearing the wrong shoe size can literally feel like stepping into someone else’s shoes, and that isn’t such a great feeling (unless they are exactly your size). And as much of a no-brainer as that might sound, there are a few errors people make all the time.
- Wearing the same size all throughout – Most people think having their feet measured is a one-time affair when the reality is that your foot size and shape can change over time. Don’t torture your feet by squeezing them into shoes too big or too small just because you’re certain they’re your size. You can go up or down the shoe size chart even during the duration of a day!
- Choosing the wrong size – Did you know that most people have one foot larger than the other? So, measure both your feet, follow the shoes size guide, and when it comes to determining the size, go with the larger one for maximum foot comfort.
- Getting measured at the start of the day – Another easy hack to make sure you have the accurate size of your feet and find the most comfortable shoes is to measure them at the end of the day because that’s when your feet are the largest. Why? As you go about your day, your feet will swell a bit. So, measuring your feet at the end of the day ensures that you are comfortable in your shoes all throughout the day, and not just at the beginning.
SOLE: Gosh is it hard to hold in all the ‘sole’ puns. It truly kills our sole! Okay, now that that’s said and done, let’s get to why the sole is called the ‘soul’ of the shoe. Spoiler: because it is. The insole and the outsole lays the foundation of comfort, quite literally, for your feet and determines whether your arch is supported, heels are secured, and feet feel overall cushioned.
- Examine the soles – Are they reliable enough to provide protection from sharp objects jutting into your shoes? Do they provide enough cushioning for your feet? Does the insole offer breathability? The heart of a comfort footwear definitely lies in its sole, and this includes both the insole and the outsole. The insole of the shoe should provide a good fit, keep your feet warmer during winters, prevent blisters by minimizing friction, and make the shoes a breeze to wear through the day. As for the outsole, it should provide you great traction while also allowing good grip on all kinds of surfaces, besides protecting your feet from surfaces, of course.
- Material of the sole – Leather, PU, EVA and rubber are three of the most common materials used for making soles. However, as far as sustainability and comfort is concerned, nothing can beat natural rubber soles that are durable, breathable, slip resistant on treacherous surfaces, offer flexibility, and provide excellent shock absorption.
We are obsessed with the comfort our shoes provide, and so should you. Life’s too short to wear uncomfortable shoes!
FEEL: Perhaps the best quantifier of whether the shoes are right for your feet is to wear them, stand, and walk in them. As good as the shoe may look to you, whether you will feel like wearing it or not will boil down to one thing – comfort.
- Stand in the shoes – Stand up and press gently on the top of the shoe to make sure you have a half-inch of space between your longest toe (usually the second toe) and the end of the shoe. Also, wiggle your toes to make sure there's enough room.
- Walk around in the shoes – The best test for a shoe is the simplest – walk around in it. Is there enough room at the balls of the feet? Do the heels fit snugly, or do they slide or slip while walking? Do they chafe or rub anywhere? You know what the answer to those should be for the shoe to fit and feel right.
Shoes aren’t just an afterthought. If chosen thoughtfully, they can form the foundation of your outfit, style, and the comfort you move in through the day. So, the next time you add a shoe to your cart, make sure you have done your due diligence to enjoy a pair of shoes that will do more than just make you look good.