Besides the right shoe size & width, an optimal fit, use of high-quality materials for the upper, lining and outsole, and skillful workmanship are also important factors when it comes to quality and selection. The following tips will certainly help you in choosing the best fit for your foot.
First, an important piece of advice
A new shoe should fit your foot perfectly in terms of length and width. It should adapt to the shape of your feet, and not the other way around. Your toes need sufficient space but that is not the case for the heels, which must be firmly supported. Having firmly supported heels is one of the most important factors to ensure a perfectly fitting shoe.
Wherever possible, shoes should be made of soft leather and provide sufficient room for your feet in all three dimensions: height, width & length. You know it is not the right one for you if it starts to rub. Do not fall for the classic lines “they will widen over time” or “they will wear in”. You owe it to your feet so if a pair of shoes should fit perfectly straightaway or you should not buy them.
Take your time when buying shoes
Inside of the shoe is something very important to check for any seams that may be uncomfortable, or any hardened area or any bulge. Many shoe manufacturers do not fully line their shoes in order to reduce costs, i.e. the lining ends at the area which is not visible. As a result, seams, edges, and bulges are exposed. A quality shoe should have a standard to be always fully lined and must be stitch together large sections as far as possible. This is how unnecessary seams & edges can be avoided which could restrict the level of comfort when worn. However, larger pieces of leather are more costly, which is why those kinds of shoes will cost you more but, those high-quality shoes are worth every penny you pay for them.
Only buy properly fit shoes
According to studies conducted by the German Shoe Institute, almost 80% (an unbelievably high figure) of the German population buy shoes which do not fit properly. This is a real no go as women have the tendency to buy shoes which are too small, men are more likely to buy shoes which are too big.
A shoe must be flexible
After you have got the size & width right, it is now time that you should turn your attention to the softness of the leather and a flexible shoe sole. By flexible here we mean the ability to bend. Lots of people mix up the flexibility of the sole and the softness of the inner padding. Therefore, the ‘bending’ test is something you must do. If you bend the shoe (i.e. bend the heel and the toe area towards each other) and the soles take a V form, then the shoes have exemplary flexibility.
Leather finishing shall not be ignored
You should not disregard whether the shoe is made of leather or synthetic material. Leather is a natural product with distinctive material properties. Humans release around 0.1 cl of perspiration from their feet each day. It is therefore imperative that the shoe is breathable and can absorb moisture. No material other than leather is as flexible and can absorb and release moisture so effortlessly. This leads to a healthy foot climate and counteracts sweaty feet.
Try on both shoes
Feet are almost never the same length & width. You should always try on both shoes and not just one. Right-handed people usually have a dominant right foot. This is another way around for left-handed people. Shoes tend to become longer & wider with age. Also, the shoe size can change with age, which is why you should be open-minded when buying shoes. If a shoe fits, it does not matter if it is a size larger or wider than the previous pair. Shoes made from different manufacturers turn out differently sized. What matters is how it feels on your own, individual foot.
Make flat ones your priority
Shoes which are as anatomically & orthopedically flat as possible are always highly recommended. The roll-through movement of the foot can only take place as naturally as possible in flat shoes, as there is no improper weight distribution at the arch of the foot and the metatarsal bones. When it comes to high heels, wear them in moderation and only as long as foot exercises and movement strengthen the foot muscles, meaning that your feet can withstand the strain of the high heels. It is important to have a balance between this style of footwear and every day, comfortable footwear.
The time of day is important
Your feet change in size and shape depending on the time of the day, particularly on hot summer days, when swelling can occur. It is, therefore, best to buy shoes in the evening and jog a little beforehand so that your feet reach a “working temperature” before trying on shoes so that they have swelled slightly.
Know the manufacturer
The workmanship of the shoe is not the only thing which is important, but also which materials are used by the manufacturer and under which conditions the raw materials have been processed, i.e. tanning of the leather and workmanship involved. Consumers nowadays are becoming increasingly conscious of the origin and sustainability of their leather. However, on the other hand, it is becoming very difficult for a consumer to guarantee the quality of leather. Faux leather is becoming so much more refined that only an expert can tell the difference between faux and genuine leather. Always do a bit of research about the manufacturer of the shoe and try to know their process. Use the experience of the people to your advantage but make sure that you are not overwhelmed by it as the shoe which is right for one may not be the right choice for you.