Buying Shoes Online or At Discount Stores May Be Costing You More Than You Think

Ms. Jones came to my podiatry office complaining of a painful corn between her toes.  She explained that she saw a stylish pair of shoes for a great deal and she just had to get them even though she knew they didn’t fit quite right (they were a half size or so different from what she normally wears). It was the only pair the store had in stock and she just couldn’t pass up the great deal, so she bought them and started wearing them.
About two weeks later, her toe became very painful and even the sheets at night would hurt it.  She stopped wearing the shoes, but the pain wouldn’t go away.  She developed an inflammation of the toe joint from her abnormally fitting shoe.  She gained some relief from a cortisone shot and discontinued wearing non-ideal fitting shoes.   The true cost: enduring pain, inhibiting work, spending time to go to the doctor, paying a copay and even a deductible on the exam, x-rays and the shot.  What happened to the “great deal”?  Did she really save??  Was it worth it?   She confessed that she really learned her lesson!!
Buying online or at discount places may make you feel good.  Sometimes it is a really good deal.  But not really knowing your size, shape and brand of shoe you are buying, or “Squeezing” your foot to make a shoe fit is NOT a good idea.
We can all appreciate the easiness of having everything from clothing, electronics, to tools and of course, shoes available at the tip of our fingers with online shopping.  But your feet are very complex in not only their shape but also their function.  Fitting your feet can be very complicated, but with the help of a professional you will receive many advantages from purchasing shoes in person.   Consider the following:
  • Different sizes. At ArchMasters–Orthotics, Shoes &Footcare, llc. we offer a wide variety of sizes for every foot.  Not only the length and width, but also the last (shape of the shoe).  Did you know that your feet can be two different sizes? This is actually very common so we make it part of our job to measure both of your feet individually when fitting your feet.  Furthermore, our staff knows how our brands may vary in size and shape.  That is, for example, a size 10 in one brand of shoe may not be the same size as a size 10 in another shoe.  The sizing of different brands varies making it difficult for you to determine exactly what size you need in a specific brand.  

  • Size is more than just the heel to toe length.  Many will measure their feet from the back of the heel to the tip of the longest toe.  While this is important to be sure you have enough toe length space.  What is most important is the measurement of the length from the back of your heel to the ball or big toe joint of your foot.  This length usually will be different from the heel to toe length.  Many times it will be longer.  This is important as the heel to ball length needs to match up with the bend or the widest part of the shoe in order for the shoe to function correctly.  Many times we see people wearing shoes that are too short in the heel to ball length.  Even if you have a good shoe, this will cause your foot to abnormally function.  This can cause increased flattening of your foot with walking and even jam up the big toe joint leading to arthritis and pain.

  • Stand, sit, and walk. It’s important to try shoes on in three different ways: standing, sitting, and walking. When you stand, the size of your foot is different from its size while you are sitting and so it’s important to feel for a comfortable size in both positions. Walking around in your potential shoes will help you determine if the footwear is comfortable in motion and provides proper functionality.  Sometimes it is needed to even test them with running on a treadmill.

  • Ideal fit. When you are actually in a store, you can’t deny the many benefits of having help from a trained professional. You may be able to get out a ruler and try to measure your feet on your own, but our expert staff can properly determine the appropriate width, lengths, girth and last (shape) of the shoe including the toe box shape along with the desired counter and shank stiffness needed for your activity.  We specialize in fitting your feet with quality stylish shoes.
At ArchMasters–Orthotics, Shoes & Footcare, llc. Ourstaff is trained to find the ideal fit for your activities while keeping in mind the personal history of your feet. We believe that footwear is about comfort, functionality, support and most importantly health. Next time you consider buying online, think about the risk you are taking in the health of your feet and instead, stop into our store where we make your health our first priority. If you have any questions about the right shoes or size for your feet, stop in or call our facility at (615) 370-3000 and ask to speak with certified pedorthist, Linda or certified pedorthist and podiatrist, Dr. David Sables.
ArchMasters, a shoe facility and a whole lot more!
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