How to Find Comfortable Shoes

Relief at last! Foolproof tips on picking comfortable pumps, flats, and sandals.

Tips for Finding a Comfortable Pump

  • Keep the shoe in the heel and toe area. The sole must be flexible and bend at the front of the arch, but must have a rigid bottom through the arch.
  • Choose a pump with a high heel that is directly below the center of the heel. If you are too far ahead or behind the shoe, you will have balance problems.
  • Look for false fronts. “A pointy shoe with an area that is much longer than the toes has a fake forehead. It prevents the toes from being pinched,” says Suzanne Levine, a podiatrist surgeon from New York City.
  • Make sure the tip area is wide enough across the tip.
  • Note that a wedge shoe distributes its weight more evenly and offers support on the whole foot. Note, however, that the limited flexibility of a wedge increases the risk of rolling the ankle to one side.
  • Try cushioning a shoe by pressing a finger on the ball area. It should have some elasticity or a slightly padded feel.
  • Avoid synthetics. Wear shoes with a leather, suede or fabric upper. These materials breathe, reducing the possibility of blistering.

Tips for Finding a Comfortable Flat

  • Look for a sturdy construction. “Try to push the area around the heel,” says Meghan Cleary, author of The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say About You (Chronicle Books, $ 13, “If the heel collapses enough to touch the insole, the shoe is not supportive.”
  • Hold each end of a shoe and try to rotate it. If the shoe folds too much, it will not be supportive.
  • Look for apartments with a small heel if you have high arches. Heels relieve pain in the feet.
  • Buy shoes with leather or rubber sole for optimal shock absorption.
  • Wear only shoes with leather or suede soles. Breathable and flexible, they help prevent chafing and blistering and conform to the feet.
  • Look for rounded tips. They follow the shape of the foot and allow the toes to move.
  • Avoid slipping and cutting your heels by finding a shoe with a back that fits perfectly and holds your foot firmly.

Tips for Finding a Blister-Proof Sandal

  • Avoid wobbly shoes. Examine the quality of a shoe by looking at how it sits on a table. A well-built shoe will be balanced and stable when standing alone.
  • Look for sleeping heels that have a touch of wide heel (base), which allows better shock absorption. It will also be more stable on your feet.
  • “Stay away from backless shoes like flip flops and slides because they cause toe pain,” says Suzanne Levine. Instead, look for a sandal with straps that hit just below the ankle (without surrounding it). This will help stabilize the foot and hold it firmly.
  • Wear only sandals with leather or suede straps to avoid chafing.
  • Make sure the toe area is large enough for the widest part of the foot.
  • Look for wedge shoes that give the illusion of a higher heel without feeling it.
  • Examine the inside of the straps for seams and other construction details that can dig into your feet.

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