Finding yourself a beautiful pair of new shoes is a great feeling, but imagine how you might feel if they ended up being so uncomfortable you could not wear them as much as you wanted to?
In an attempt to keep up with cutting-edge fashion, comfort seems to rank considerably further down the scale of importance than image and appearance does - and this frequently results in pain and suffering as well as the likelihood of permanent harm to the feet.
So what do you need to consider, apart from the look of course, when deciding on a pair of new shoes?
Well here are the top 5 steps to ponder if you want to be confident of making the right choice:
Point 1: Pick your shoe shape carefully:
It is easy to fall in love with the appearance of your new shoes, but they really should match the shape of your feet if they are going to remain comfortable. So try and avoid the temptation to make your feet fit a shape of shoe that is simply the wrong design to begin with.
Pointed-toe shoes are a common example of how the general style can squeeze your toes together and result in discomfort and even more long term disfigurement. Equally, higher heels will push your feet forward, resulting in your toes becoming bent as they are forced against the front of the shoes.
Bearing this in mind, if higher heels are the style you are looking for, consider an open-toe format instead that will give your foot some extra flexibility. There is a fantastic choice available, especially when it comes to selecting the more feminine styles like evening shoes for women for example.
Point 2: Consider the heel:
The height of the heels are a critical point when it comes to overall comfort and normally the higher the heels are, the greater the stress on your calf and back muscles as well as your toes.
Having said that, the specific position of the heel is also a factor. The heel of your shoe should be exactly below the centre of your own heel if you want to keep the best balance and this will become increasingly important if you are likely to wear the shoe for extended periods of time.
Point 3: Opt for a correctly fitting shoe:
Getting the fit right is invariably the number one issue when it comes to choosing a pair of comfortable shoes. If they end up too big, they will enable your feet to move around inside the shoe, generating blistering and soreness. In a similar way if they are too tight, your foot will end up being squeezed into an unnatural shape and this will occasionally result in long term problems as well as shorter term discomfort.
The back portion of the shoe needs to hold the heel of the foot perfectly if you wish to avoid your foot slipping up and down inside the shoe when you move, causing soreness to the back of your heel.
Point 4: Leather is usually best:
The material that your shoes are constructed from will play a big role in whether your feet are able to breathe effectively. This will affect whether your feet stay dry or promote a build-up of moisture, in turn providing a breeding ground for unwanted bacteria.
Suede and leather are the most satisfactory natural materials in this regard for both womens boots and shoes, although more efficient brands of man-made fibres frequently used in athletic shoes can also be very good.
Point 5: Examine the shape of your feet:
The feet need support in all the right places and selecting a pair that suits the basic shape of your foot is invariably going to provide you with the best long-term comfort.
Your foot's arch is especially important and if you have a high arch, then improved support is likely to be preferable. Similarly acquiring a good fit is often simpler with lace-up shoes than a slip-on style, as you should be able to gain from the additional adjustment.
Of course, the look of the shoe will frequently play a huge part in your final selection, but that will soon become irrelevant if you find you can't wear them! Your end choice might well be a subtle balancing act between comfort and style but these 5 points will make sure you choose a beautiful pair of new shoes that will also keep your feet healthy as well.