What do you look for when you go shoe shopping? The look? The style? The color?
Or simply just the name of the brand?
Well, here's some news for you! There is a lot that goes into orthotics that you need to consider before you choose your shoes!
A lot of these considerations are beneficial in keeping your feet happy and healthy as you indulge in your favorite activities. What's more, custom orthotics can also help you prevent injuries and keep your entire body healthy at the same time!
So, how do you choose the right shoe for yourself? Here are the eight main things you need to look for!
#1 Look For A Stiff Back
A stiff back is never good news except when it's on your shoes! You need to ensure that your shoes are supportive enough, especially if you will engage in high-intensity activities while wearing the shoes!
But how do you check whether your shoe has a stiff back or not? Here is a simple test you can perform. Use one hand to grab the heel and the other one to grasp the area right above the heel. Try moving the shoe from side to side around the heel. If it doesn't budge, you know that you have a shoe with a stiff back!
#2 Look For Torque
Your shoes need to have a slight amount of torque to them. What does this mean? Well, it means that if you are holding your shoe at both ends and twisting it, it should not bend too much or too little. Just a slight twist shows that your shoe has a good amount of torque!
#3 A Good Bend Is Crucial
Your shoe needs to bend exactly at the point where your toes bend. Don't be shy to put on the shoe in the store and walk around for a bit in it. Notice where the bend occurs. If it seems slightly off, then you might be better off choosing a different shoe!
#4 Are They Wide & Long Enough?
Shoe sizes are often measured in length, and most people do not really pay much attention to the width of the shoe. However, it is just as crucial for you to ensure that the shoe is broad enough for your feet to fit into it comfortably. A good test to check the width and length of your shoe is to check your toes. Are they curling in the shoe? Or perhaps they are being pushed in? These are some signs that the length and width of the shoe aren't right!
#5 Comfort Is Key
Even if the shoe that you choose fulfills all the above criteria that we have just mentioned, it is no good if it's not comfortable! Have you ever put on a shoe where you simply slide your foot in and feel so relaxed that you just want to sink into a chair and close your eyes? That's the kind of comfort you should be looking for in your shoes!
#6 Choose The Right Shoe Depending On What You Are Doing That Day
Sandals and boots may not be supportive enough for long-distance walking or running. You can increase the comfort you feel by choosing shoes with straps or boots with extra arch support. If you are selecting minimalist shoes (i.e., shoes that mimic “barefoot” walking and running), it is essential for you to get guidance regarding proper form and technique from your physical trainer.
#7 Running Shoes Or Sport-Specific Shoes?
If you choose a shoe for a specific sport, it would be wise for you to choose a sport-specific shoe to provide extra comfort and support rather than a simple running shoe.
And when it comes to running shoes, there are four different kinds that you can choose from: stability, motion control, minimalist, and neutral/cushioning. How do you know which kind to purchase?
Well, here is a simple test you can perform.
Try balancing on one leg or performing a one-leg squat. If the shoe feels uncomfortable in any way, then you might need a different kind!
#8 No Heels, Please!
High heels are incredibly problematic, especially when it comes to the feet, the knees, and the back. It would be advisable for you to stay away from high heels altogether, or if that is not possible, use wedges/lower heels!
Our Top Recommendation For Best Orthotic Comfort!
As a clinic, the most important thing that we look out for in shoes is whether they can provide the right amount of support and comfort to users or not.
After conducting extensive research, we have concluded that Brooks Running Shoes provide some of the softest and most comfortable shoes with excellent DNA LOFT cushioning. They even have a quiz where you can find the perfect shoes for yourself by answering a few simple questions!
Brooks shoes also pair perfectly with our custom foot orthotics and always recommend our patients these shoes!
Do you have any more questions regarding the “perfect” shoe? Let me know in the comments below!