Improperly fitting footwear is a primary contributor to foot and ankle injury, and can exacerbate many common health conditions. In fact, the American Podiatric Medical Association reports that ill-fitting shoes cause foot pain for nearly 78% of Americans. Foot size, forefoot width and arch type are essential measurements in proper fitting footwear. But there’s more to know about ensuring an ideal fit.
Footwear Sizing Tips
Be sure to measure and try shoes on both feet. For most people, one foot is larger than the other and may differ in length or width as much as a full size. Always buy shoes to fit your larger foot. People are more than twice as likely to buy a shoe too small, rather than too big. When standing you should have ⅜″ to ½″ (or half a thumbnail’s width) from your longest toe to the end of each shoe. Black toenails and foot cramping are often signs that your shoes are too small or narrow.
Your foot size and width may increase as you age, as the tendons and ligaments in the feet naturally lose elasticity. Watch for points of abrasion as skin becomes thinner and less resilient. Fat pads in the feet also decrease and your gait can change as the foot becomes less flexible. These and other pain points can be addressed through proper fit and footwear with appropriate cushioning and support.
People with diabetes are at risk for many foot problems due to two main complications: poor circulation and nerve damage, which causes loss of feeling in your feet. Properly fitting footwear with soft seams, excellent cushioning and support can prevent complications such as ulceration, infections, and even amputation.
During pregnancy, a woman’s feet may become longer, wider, and her arches may flatten. This is due to the hormone Relaxin, which aids in childbirth and also relaxes ligaments. When considering footwear, pregnant women should have their feet measured and will likely gain at least a half-size.
New Balance Winston-Salem carries shoes for everyone from infants to size 16, 6E. We offer walking, running, trail, tennis, golf, kids and lifestyle shoes; we carry a wide selection of styles and widths, so we can help you choose the shoe that best fits YOUR foot. New Balance is locally owned and operated by Emily and Keith Davis. 202-A S. Stratford Rd. Thruway Shopping Center, Winston-Salem, NC 336-893-7908
Source: New Balance Foot Health Solutions
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