How your footwear fits in relation to your feet.
Fastening your shoes.
1) Open the shoe fully at the fastening.
2) When you put your foot in, make sure you are not forcing it or pushing down the heel of the shoe.
〉 Your heel should be positioned firmly at the back of the shoe.
〉 If your foot is pushed to the front of the shoe, it will not feel comfortable when you try to walk.
3) Fasten the Velcro or lace firmly to make sure it’s secure on your foot.
〉 If the shoe is not fastened firmly, it will slip from the back, causing discomfort and possibly blisters.
Width and foot position.
1) In order to perform the necessary checks, you must be standing.
〉 When doing so, your foot will naturally spread out and it will fill more space inside of the shoe.
2) To check your foot position, you need to locate the ball of the foot.
〉 This should be in the widest part of the shoe. It is the big bony joint at the base of your big toe.
〉 Your foot only flexes in one place when you walk. Good footwear is designed in the same way, so matching these two points up is vital for comfort and fit.
3) With your thumb on the ball of the foot, firmly push along the top of the shoe along the widest point.
〉 You shouldn’t be able to feel or see the little toe protruding on the outside of the shoe.
〉 There should be a roll of leather under your thumb. If the leather doesn’t move, the footwear may be too tight. If the leather buckles under your thumb, the footwear is too deep.
〉 If the footwear is too deep, you can use an extra insole to improve the fit.
1) To check your toe position, lift the toe to the touch on the leather and feel for the movement.
〉 Most footwear have shaped toe caps to help the shoe keep its shape.
〉 Pressing the leather down at the toes can deform the shoe permanently.
〉 Unless your toes are extremely long, making sure the position of the ball of the foot is correct will leave a reasonable amount of space for the toes.
〉 Your toes should never touch the end of the shoe!
〉 They need to have enough space to move or spread, as this gives you balance and better feedback of your surroundings.
〉 If you have short toes, you will be more suited to rounder toe-box shapes. However, you will always have more toe space. Try not to compromise on the length of the shoe, as the widest part of your foot will then move into a narrower portion.
〉 If you have long toes, you may need slightly longer shoes, or be suited to a more pointed toe-box shape. These will be more naturally accommodating to the extra toe length.
Pressing and slipping on the heel.
1) The shoes should feel like they are secure and holding your ankle well.
〉 Good quality footwear have heel counters to help support the ankle well.
〉 Slipping is when the footwear does not grip on the heel, and your foot will physically slide up and down on the back.
〉 Footwear slipping can be eliminated by your footwear tighter, and ensuring your heel is at the back of the shoe before tightening it.
〉 Slipping is the biggest cause of blisters. If your footwear check fails at this point, then you will most likely need a different shoe, size, or fitting.
〉 Pressing is often confused with slipping, because it’s a discomfort felt in the same place on your foot.
〉 Well constructed footwear often have a firmer heel than others. When they are new and you wear them for the first time, the stiff materials will press into the back of your heel. This is normal and expected with many footwear.
〉 If the shoe is pressing, take off the footwear and massage the back of the heel for a few minutes. Then, try it on again. If the pressing has improved, the shoe will be fine after a few hours or wearing it.
〉 Don’t be tempted to loosen the fastening to stop the pressing, as this will only cause slipping and rubbing on the toes, since the foot is not being held.
How should your shoes feel?
1) Any new shoes should feel secure at the back. They should hold the ankle, and shouldn’t allow the foot to move up and down, or out of the shoe.
2) The fastening should also feel secure. You should feel like it is wrapping around your foot and fastened firmly at the top.
3) Your toes should be able to wiggle!
〉 This is one of the most important points of all, as this gives you stability and balance, and lets you know that your foot is relaxed.
The rest is subjective. If they feel comfortable, then you are ready to enjoy every step in your new shoes!