Choosing Shoes for Your Needs

If you are wearing properly fitted shoes that are suited to your activity level and specific needs, you will be able to both enhance your performance and prevent injuries. Keep the following in mind when looking for a new pair of shoes.

Athletic Shoes

When you go to try on athletic shoes, wear the type of socks that you would typically wear for your specific physical activity. While wearing the shoe, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes, and the shoes should be comfortable right away. Make sure the heel doesn’t slip as you take a few steps.

If you participate in a specific sport three or more times a week, you will need a shoe that is specific for that sport. You can ask your foot and ankle doctor about the best material or weight for your sport. For example, walking shoes will have a smooth tread and good shock absorption, while a jogging shoe will have good traction and flexibility. These special traits are designed to help prevent things like shin splints, heel pain, and stress fractures. Sports like bicycling and golf will involve specialty shoes.

Everyday Shoes

You have a little more flexibility when it comes to choosing everyday shoes, but it is necessary to make sure they still have a good fit. You should have a thumb’s width of space between the tip of your big toe and the front of your shoe. If you choose to wear high heels or other tight shoes, avoid wearing them for too long.

Children & Seniors

Both the younger and older generations have specific shoe needs. For children, you need shoes with a thick sole to prevent injury. The shoes also need to have enough room because children’s feet tend to grow quickly. On the other hand, seniors will need shoes that have plenty of grip and traction in order to prevent slips and falls.


It’s important to remember that shoe brands roll out new designs and features all the time, and it can be easy to get caught up in selecting the newest innovation. However, what is new might not be what is best for your feet. When in doubt, your doctor can point you toward the best shoes for your needs. If you find that you have foot problems even after making a careful selection, you could inquire about arch supports, inserts, or custom orthotics.

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