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What Style of Shoes Fit My Lifestyle?

Feet aren’t all created equal. They have unique sizes, widths, and arches. While you might want to look fashionable, recognize that there’s more to choosing a shoe than just its looks. 

Choosing a shoe that fits your lifestyle keeps your feet, and joints, happy. Never force your feet to fit shoes. Instead, choose shoes that fit your feet.

We at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists in Bethesda and Germantown, Maryland, want to help you choose the right style of shoe to fit your lifestyle and keep your feet healthy and functioning. Our medical team, which includes foot and ankle specialist Gary Feldman, DPM, put together these tips so you can make smart choices.

Buy shoes that fit

Never force your feet into a pair of shoes, assuming they’ll stretch with time. Shoes should feel comfortable from the start. If you can’t wiggle your toes, the shoes are too small.

When trying on shoes, wear the type of socks or hosiery that you plan to wear all the time with the shoes. Also, it’s smart to go shoe shopping at the end of the day, when your feet have had a little time to swell and spread from daily activity.

Remember that shoe fit and size vary according to the manufacturer. Just because you always wear a size 10 in one brand, doesn’t mean you’ll feel comfortable in a size 10 from another maker.

Walk around in the shoes during your fitting. Feel for any toe crowding, rubbing, or ankle discomfort. Don’t settle; find a pair that fits and feels good.

Ditch the heels

High heels and stilettos drive your toes forward, which aggravates bunions and hammertoes. Other pointy toed shoes, no matter how trendy, are also contrary to healthy feet.

High heels change the way you walk, throwing off your kinetic chain. As a result, your spine, hips, and knees can suffer. Balance is also compromised in heels, which increases your risk of a fall and resulting injury.

If your lifestyle requires dress shoes most days, wear heels no higher than 3 inches. You’re best off with a heel of 1-2 inches, or better yet no heel, in a supportive shoe.

Men can rely on classic styles, such as a loafer, oxford, or derby, when they need a comfortable dress shoe. Just make sure the fit is on point.

Choose smart athletic shoes

If you live an active lifestyle, your shoes should match. Choose a shoe appropriate for your chosen sport, whether that’s walking, running, basketball, tennis, or another specialized activity.

Many athletic shoes, especially those for running or walking, are tailored to your gait and arch. We can help you determine if you have a high, neutral, or low/flat arch. This influences whether your feet tend to turn out (supinate) or turn in (overly pronate) when you walk or run. 

Athletic shoes can offer support if you have one of these gait issues. Gone uncorrected, supination or overpronation can cause overuse injury and pain in your ankles, knees, hips, or back.

Keep support in casualwear shoes

If your lifestyle supports a casualwear shoe most days, properly fitted athletic shoes can be a great choice. Other casualwear shoes such as sandals and slides are just fine, as long as they provide good cushioning and support. Again, just make sure the shoe fits and feels comfortable.

Do avoid most flip-flops. They tend to lack arch support, and by design, none have ankle or Achilles support. Flip-flops don’t do the bare minimum of protecting you from the elements or any dirt or debris on the ground. 

The thong of flip-flops can also make you prone to blisters and even infection between the toes. Regular wear of flip-flops can worsen structural problems in your feet and posture.

If you still aren’t sure what type of shoe is best for you or you’re suffering a joint injury due to poor footwear choices, we’re here to assist. We offer noninvasive treatments, such as physical therapy, as well as innovative platelet-rich plasma therapy and surgery when required. 

Contact us at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists to set up a consultation at our Bethesda or Germantown, Maryland, location. We’re ready to help you with all of your orthopedic needs.

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