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When it comes to good shoes, our inner Carrie Bradshaw might come out especially if a good deal is attached to the price tag.
But it is important to research the right shoe to allow you to do what you love without regretting what you strapped on your feet for the day.
Erin Kesler, Canadian Certified Pedorthist, tells Yahoo Lifestyle Canada that you should have supportive shoes and “fun” shoes in your closet but you must make sure you are favouring the ones that make you feel good, opposed to the ones you can’t wait to take off at the end of the day.
She also says that if you are looking for footwear for work, travelling or sports, you want to look for the footwear that has the best supportive features.
Kesler says that looking for supportive features will help “prevent immediate issues like plantar fasciitis and foot pain, as well as lessening the chance of deformations like bunions and hammertoes as we age.”
Warning signs that a pair of shoes could hurt your feet
Kesler explains that when you’re looking at a shoe online, it’s often hard to tell if it’s going to be the right fit for your foot.
“Try looking at the shoe from different angles,” suggests Kesler. “A view from the top can show you the shape of the toe box so you can see if it matches the shape your foot makes when you are standing, looking down.”
She says that if the shoe is “too narrow and tapered” it will create problems if you’re trying to put a “wider and more squared-off foot” into the shoe.
“A bottom view of the sole can tell you how narrow the area around the arch is,” adds Kesler.
“If you have a flatter arch, more hyper-pronated, a narrow ‘waist’ on a shoe will force you to rely on the fabric of the shoe, rather than the base, to provide you with support,” explains Kesler, who adds that this can lead to a “premature breakdown of the shoes.”
She says that you need to “take care of your feet so they can keep you moving.”
Tips for purchasing a good pair of shoes
Kesler says that she suggests three guidelines to her patients when they are purchasing their own footwear.
“For guideline number one, the heel counter on a shoe should be firm. This is the part of the shoe that helps to hold your foot strongly in place along with the closures on the upper of the shoe,” she says.
The heel counter is located in the back portion of the shoe and is used to reinforce the heel cup and increase support.
Kesler says to think of the heel counter as a comparison between a car seat versus a normal seatbelt.
“When children fall asleep in the car, they are supported by their straps and sides of their seats, whereas adults will fall to one side or another,” she suggests.
For her second guideline, Kesler says, “when you grab a shoe from the front and back, you shouldn’t be able to bend or twist the shoe too much. This again provides stability and likely more longevity.”
Guideline number three involves flipping the shoe over and examining the tread.
“Flip the shoe over and look to see if there is tread on the bottom of the shoe,” suggests Kesler. “Many shoes have eliminated the rubber soling on the bottom of the shoes to remove weight, but it creates a sole that is too soft and easily deformed by the mechanics of our feet and surfaces that we walk on.”
Kesler says that this feature is “especially important” in children’s footwear because they are much tougher on their shoes and can break through soles of shoes in a matter of weeks.
Kesler’s Amazon shoe choices
To ensure you’re choosing the right shoe, we had Kesler pick out three options available on Amazon Canada. Check out her picks — and reasoning — below.
Kesler says that this is one of her all-time favourite shoes for running, day-to-day and for those who are on hard floors all day for work, such as front-line workers.
“The cushioning makes you feel like you’re walking on clouds, while still providing support where needed,” adds Kesler. “This shoe comes in both men’s and women’s and fits the average to higher arch foot.”
One happy customer on Amazon says that they are a nurse and work on their feet for roughly 12 hours a day.
“These shoes were a lifesaver for my feet. I was wearing new balances and they were OK and did the job, but these shoes, they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned in my life,” shares the customer. “My feet don't hurt when I come home from work anymore and that in turn makes me feel like I have more energy. They are well worth the money, so if you are on the fence, do it.”
SHOP IT: Amazon
Kesler says that this shoe is a great option as we head into the fall season because it’s a waterproof hiking boot.
“Many of my patients don’t like to wear winter boots, or switch their footwear in the winter,” says Kesler. “A waterproof hiker that is still stylish and lightweight is a great option.
She adds that this shoe will fit a wider foot in both female and male options, and keep feet dry in the rain and snow.
“I had some high hopes for these Keens and I can say with great certainty that I have not been disappointed!” one customer writers in their five-star review. “The style, look, colour and reputation of KEEN products attracted me. And now three weeks into wearing them, I have not been disappointed.”
SHOP IT: Amazon
Kesler recommends an in-house shoe for people experiencing heel or foot pain.
“Especially with a lot of jobs being converted to work-from-home, going barefoot or walking around in socks just isn’t cutting it,” she says. “A sandal with some built-in arch support can help relieve the stress of hardwood or ceramic floors, and help provide some shock absorption for our joints.”
“Bonus, they can be worn with socks in the colder months,” adds Kesler.
“Birkenstocks are the best ever. So comfortable you forget your wearing them. Something for everyone. Colours are great,” writes a happy customer.
SHOP IT: Amazon