A guide to our bespoke system.
With all the brands of footwear available today, it can be difficult choosing the one that is right for you. Often, we find that these manufacturers could benefit from providing more information about their products. So, we created our unique tagging system.
This is a bespoke database breaking down the properties of each footwear you are looking at. From the length fitting to the health benefits they offer, we give you this to simplify your shopping journey – and ultimately, save you time.
You can find each shoe’s unique tags on its product page. As well as this, you can narrow your selection down by using the filters on the left-hand side.
Shoe size tags.
The mould on which a shoe is made is called a last. Every shoe’s last is different. Even within one brand, they will have hundreds of lasts for all their different styles.
Sizes are so different between brands and even within a brand, so we have developed a way to help you accurately choose the size for the shoe you want.
Footwear that is available to purchase by foot.
For example, the Ascent Vision shoe is purchasable in a different size for each shoe in a pair. Or, even just one shoe (left or right) on its own.
This solves a unique problem where you may have two very different size feet, or perhaps just the one foot.
It means that you will not have to go to any extra expense of buying a second pair of shoes, or ending up with a shoe that you will never use.
This tag means that you should order the size that the size guide is approaching.
Once you have measured your feet and have used our size guide, you can use the tags for that shoe to help you choose the correct size to order.
Shoes vary in shape and size, even when labelled as the same size as another pair. If a shoe fits bigger than written on the box, we label these so you know to order a less generous size.
Shoes vary in shape and size, even when labelled as the same size as another pair. If a shoe fits smaller than written on the box, we label these so you know to order a larger size.
The last shape is extremely important when it comes to width and what type of foot will fit in it. Often, many people will look for footwear marked with a narrow or wide width fitting notation such as “D” or “H”. However, most shoes will not have this, even though the foot shape they are suited to has been thought about.
Our width tags give you the information you need about a shoe, that is not otherwise given by the brand itself.
A shoe that fits a narrow foot will typically close around the foot in a more fitted way.
If it is laced, usually the sole is also narrower than usual and the toe-box is slightly shallower.
The sides of the shoe will often come up and around, to help wrap the foot and provide a neat fit.
A wide fitting shoe will be more generous in most aspects.
It will have a wider sole unit and more leather on the upper, to accommodate more foot.
Wider fitting shoes are often deeper throughout the whole shoe, and the fastenings open more.
The width of foot that a shoe can accommodate can vary in two main ways.
Firstly, the company can make the shoes using lasts of different widths. This means that the sole unit itself will be wider, and the upper will therefore be too.
The second way is if there is an adjustment on the front, often found in sandals where you can loosen or tighten the front to accommodate more width.
Some companies such as Ricosta use different thickness insoles to adjust the width and depth of a shoe.
If a shoe is tagged Adjustable Width, it will either have an option to select the width you want to buy, or it will have an adjustable front strap.
A common struggle when finding shoes that fit is when they slip at the heel.
The Narrow Heel tag lets you know which shoes grip really well on the heel when fastened properly.
When shoes have a supportive heel counter and a heel that grips very well, you will often experience pressure on the back of the foot. This is something that can happen when the shoe is new, but will soften after a few hours of wearing them.
Foot shape tags.
Feet come in all shapes and sizes. High arches, flat arches, deep forefoot, narrow, short toes, and long toes are just a few of the identifiers that we use when fitting shoes.
These tags help you identify some of the most common criteria that help with difficult fittings.
A deep toe box is great for two main reasons.
The first is if you have a wide and deep foot with a high instep. This will help you avoid having to increase the size to create the space that your foot needs.
The second is when you have a full length orthotic to put inside your shoes. In this case, a deep toe box will allow you to put a lot more inside the shoe without it feeling tight.
Footwear that can accommodate a high instep is often much deeper at the midfoot (between the ball of your foot and the front of your shin).
This type of footwear will often open up a lot to be able to get a high-arched foot in and out easily, and it will feel less tight at the point where your foot becomes your toes.
This is also something that we look for as a criteria when fitting orthotics – to be able to fit orthotics with a particularly big arch support.
Fastenings that open fully are really important in a few situations.
The first situation is if you have a splint. If you have a splint and have tried fitting it in shoes, one of the biggest restrictions is when the Velcro or lace will not open enough. Shoes with this tag will often accommodate splints more easily. Make sure you measure the splint as well as the foot and fit to whichever measures bigger.
The second is with high insteps and orthotics. Being able to open a shoe up fully will make fitting more easy, and make the footwear feel less constrained and more a part of your foot when it’s fastened correctly.
Being able to remove the insoles from a shoe gives it a lot of versatility.
It allows you to create extra depth inside of the shoe for fitting in orthotics and splints.
It will do so without having to make the shoes feel different.
It also gives an opportunity to adjust the insole without cutting apart the shoes.
Footwear construction tags.
Footwear construction is what makes a shoe’s quality. and gives it a unique feel of comfort and support.
Quality footwear will tick many of these boxes alongside its quality of materials.
This applies to Joya footwear only. Their products are separated into two main categories: Motion and Emotion. Within these categories are sub-categories, which inform us about the type of sole that they have: Air, Curve, Senso, and Wave.
For more information on what each of these are designed to do, please see the brand page.
A neutral sole means that there are no added supports inside the sole that will change the shape of your foot.
These are ideal shoes for wearing orthotics inside, as they allow the orthotic to do the work it is designed for.
An arch supportive sole is not often found in footwear.
This is different from a “shaped” sole. An arch supportive sole will provide an actual support with different density materials.
Often this can work as an alternative to wearing an orthotic inside trainers, however if your orthotic is very bespoke and designed to do more than support your arch we often recommend using a neutral sole and using your orthotic.
Cushioned sole units will have some form of material or technology that makes the sole softer to stand on and take away pressure when moving or standing.
A rocker sole has a physical pivot point that will offload a specific part of your foot strike. Rockers can be split into 3 separate parts or cover the entire sole. Common rockers are forefoot rockers which takes pressure away from the toe joints, and midfoot rockers which give more stability to the most unstable portion of the foot strike cycle.
A strong midfoot is one of the most important parts of any piece of footwear.
To create a strong midfoot, many companies will use a “shank” or a variant of it to strengthen the middle portion of the sole unit.
This is extremely important when fitting orthotics inside shoes, as it allows the orthotic to sit on a stable surface.
This is also really important for comfort and for avoiding pain. Footwear without a strong midfoot will make your foot work much harder, as a fully-formed foot will not want to bend where the shoe does.
Strong heel support is not just for people that feel they want more structure around the back of their foot.
It is what allows a shoe to grip the heel well, and hold it consistently in a biomechanically straight position.
It’s also a really important part of footwear construction that allows orthotics to fit in well, and allows footwear to retain their shape.
If the shoes you are looking at are marked as “Good with Orthotics”, they will have many of the characteristics on this page that make them ideal for being able to easily fit an orthotic inside.
If you are trying to fit orthotics inside shoes, it’s worth looking at all the tags on the footwear you want. This is so you can make a clear decision based on the size and shape of the orthotics, and the feet you want to put inside the shoes.
Waterproof shoes will have an extra lining under the top layer of material.
The most famous of these is Gore-Tex. However, many brands have their own “Tex” membranes that are used to keep feet dry.