How Shoes Affect Your FeetWritten by Beckett Simonon
Remember in grade or primary school when all the kids were wearing ‘cool’ shoes (particularly the flat-footed sneakers with the rubber soles?) and your parents said you couldn’t have them because you needed a shoe with more ‘support’? Those sneakers you ended up getting weren’t bad necessarily but they weren’t what the ‘cool kids’ were wearing.
Luckily as we grow older, shoe support can improve or be mediated with sole inserts, so any type of shoe can be comfortable and protect your feet without looking frumpy.
But, the question remains, how do shoes affect your feet? Are certain shoes better or worse?
Things like posture and balance can be affected by the type of shoe on your foot, be that an improperly fitting shoe or a properly fitting one. Naturally, if you’re shoe shopping for a certain event or activity, say, a sport, you should be shopping for shoes that suit the purpose at hand, but today we’ll be focusing on how standard shoes affect feet.
How the Right Shoe Affects Your Feet
There are four key things that the right shoe will do for your foot:
- Cushion the foot
- Support the foot
- Feel comfortable
- Fit well
Properly Fitting Shoes Cushion the Foot
Even though shoes and soles don’t reduce the force that goes through the body, they do affect and increase the time it takes for the force to impact the body. If your foot is properly cushioned by your shoes, your body will have increased time to adapt to the gravitational force that reverberates as you move.
The Right Shoe Supports the Foot
Obviously, shoes provide some sort of barrier that is ideal for day-to-day activity, or else we’d roam around barefoot all the time. Alas, we wear shoes so we don’t step in or on anything unpleasant. The shoe protects the foot from the elements, but more than that, it aids the alignment of your feet when they touch the ground.
The Right Shoe Comforts
While you may have to break in shoes a little bit, it shouldn’t be a painful or excruciating process. Blisters do happen and are normal, but that’s about all the pain that should come with a new pair of shoes. Your new shoes should feel comfortable on first wear. You shouldn’t feel ankle, arch, or leg pain associated with your footwear. If you feel uncomfortable during the try-on phase, you shouldn’t rely on ‘breaking them in’ to solve the problem, as typically not much changes during the first month of footwear use.
The Right Shoe Should Fit Well
That should be a given, right? The thing is, many people don’t really know what ‘fitting well’ means. Your toe shouldn’t be right up against the cap, in fact, there should be about 1-1.5cm of extra space between your foot and the toe cap. It should hug the heel. It should be both long enough and wide enough to fit your feet and should feel snug without being uncomfortably tight. If your foot feels squashed, consider looking into wider shoe sizes. Just buying a half size up won’t necessarily solve the problem.
Even more, you shouldn’t need to double and triple knot your laces to get the shoe to feel snug, that’s simply a sign of a shoe that’s ever so slightly too large. You should be able to wiggle your toes when wearing the shoes. Keep in mind that your foot is meant to move within the shoe, so wiggle room is crucial. It’s not like you’re donning cement blocks as foot protection; you’re wearing shoes made of some sort of flexible material.
Tips & Tricks to Finding the Right Shoe
So, you’ve heard just how the wrong shoe affects your feet for worse, and how the right shoe affects your feet for better. But how exactly do you know what the right shoe is? It’s a difficult thing to measure because while a shoe expert may know how the right shoe should look and feel on your foot, you’re the one who has to decide if it’s comfortable. Determining comfort as it pertains to a shoe is a foggy area, especially if you’ve never had that ‘perfect fit’ feeling. We’ve compiled a list of some things to keep in mind when shoe shopping, and hopefully that helps you meet your match.
To start, it might sound odd, but consider shopping for your shoes last. Specifically, head to the shops after exercise or just at the end of the day. Why? Because your feet are their largest at that time of the day, and if a shoe is comfortable then, they’ll likely be comfortable throughout the rest of the day as well. Along those same lines, try on shoes with the socks you’ll wear with them. Sweat socks won’t be worn with dress shoes, and no-show socks likely won’t be worn with sneakers. And those thin, panty-hose material foot coverings that shoe stores provide won’t give an accurate feel for your foot either.
One thing many don’t consider is the irritating interiors of the shoe. Sometimes, shoes have different tags, seams, or material bunches that might make wear uncomfortable. Check that out before you actually check out to see if that’s something that can be solved with some shoe surgery, or if that could potentially damage the shoe’s integrity.
Finally, don’t forget the soles. The soles are what stand between you and the rugged terrain beneath. If they’re too thin, they might not be protecting your feet enough. The soles ought to be sturdy, thick enough to protect against sharp and harmful objects. The soles should grip surfaces properly and not slip on standard flooring or carpet. This is why it’s important to test your shoes on both hard and soft surfaces, to ensure optimal comfort and functionality across all environments.
Find the Right Shoe at Beckett Simonon
When looking for shoes, you’re looking for something stylish, something high-quality, and something worth the price. That’s what Beckett Simonon specializes in. We focus on producing premium, handcrafted shoes and offering them at reasonable price points.
Since our shoes are made-to-order, we greatly reduce our carbon footprint and general product waste, as we never have extra product in specific sizing and color combinations sitting on shelves waiting to be purchased.
Ready to stop having to replace your shoes annually because they fall apart after normal wear? Check out our catalog of premium leather shoes and find yourself the right pair. For more information, check out our "How It Works" page to learn exactly what we do and why.