Wearing the Correct Shoe Size Can Help You Prevent a Foot Injury - October 7, 2012

Wearing the Correct Shoe Size Can Help You Prevent a Foot Injury


by William Blake, DPM


William Blake, DPM of Foot and Ankle Associates

Many avid runners will tell you there is nothing more calming and relaxing than a brisk, late-evening jog. The stress of the day seems to melt away as the heart rate increases. Running has been shown to be a great tool for stress relief and for promoting overall well-being.

Unfortunately, our northern New Mexico foot experts see many runners lose valuable running time because of foot and ankle injuries. One way you can care for your feet and help prevent injuries—whether you’re running or not—is to wear shoes that fit properly. Three things you should look for in properly fitting shoes are:

  • Length. Even if you know what size shoe you typically wear, many shoe brands tend to run slightly larger or smaller than average. So, use the number printed on the shoebox as a starting point, but then try the shoes on and see where your toes stop. Generally, you should have about half an inch of space between where your toes stop and the end of the shoe. Move up or down a half size at a time until you find that perfect length, and be sure to take into account the thickness of the socks you’ll be wearing with the shoes.

  • Width. People sometimes forget that shoes come in different widths. Some shoes are designed for people who have narrow feet, while others are designed for a wider foot. If you are unsure whether you have a narrow, average, or wide foot, it’s a good idea to have someone at the shoe store measure the width of your foot.

  • Arch. Most people fail to consider what type of arch they have when buying shoes, but wearing a shoe with the right arch support can make a huge difference and can be particularly important for people who run, hike, or play certain sports, such as sports that require a lot of jumping or lateral foot movement. Employees at stores that specialize in footwear for runners and other athletes are sometimes trained to provide advice on proper fit, including arch support. Or, you can talk with your podiatrist if you’re unfamiliar with the type of arch support that’s best for your feet.

The climate here in New Mexico is great for folks who want to cultivate an active lifestyle, so don’t let your shoes determine your level of activity. If you’ve experienced a foot injury, the experienced New Mexico podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Associates can help. Call 505-982-0123 today for a private consultation.