When it comes to footwear and comfort, it is not the size, but the fit that matters. Too often people get caught up in the size mindset when trying to replace a great shoe. That makes sense if you are buying the same style and brand back again. However, tennis shoes do not fit like work boots or even pull-on boots like lace-ups. You should think fit, first. Let’s say you find the right shoe for the job at the right price and it has all the comfort features you are looking for. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about high end running shoes or work boots or even everyday casuals. If it does not fit your foot, all those great features, will not make up for a poor fitting shoe. I have fit shoes or rather, fit feet for nearly 40 years now. Lately, some people are becoming a grab a go type of customer. You should take some time to know yourself and get a better fit to be a happier customer. And now that we are doing this online footwear shopping, most of the responsibility of fit falls onto the customer understanding of fit vs size.
So where should you start in this quest for a great fit? Start with understanding your foot. Then understand widths and sizes of footwear. Let’s start with your foot. Is your foot thin, narrow, skinny or wide, thick, fat? Some of those words aren’t very nice – but you need to know your foot to know what to look for in a style and size, allowing you to get the fit. A long narrow foot with long toes and a narrow heel needs different styles and sizes than the foot that is wide at the ball of the foot with a high arch which adds to a high instep with short toes. See, length is not always the answer. The customer with a narrow foot will try to buy footwear that is too short to make up for shoes that are wide and allow the foot to slide forward. As the customer with a wider foot will try to go longer thinking bigger, when they need to go wider. The three most important foot features to look at are – length, width and thickness. Length is the easiest to find, but don’t forget to fit the arch length as well as the overall length. Arch length is one reason most customers become loyal to one company over another. Think of width at the ball of the foot, or the knuckles of your foot. Thickness includes the depth and instep as well and how high the arch is.
Now looking at styles you should understand that a lace up shoe or boot always fits more people. It just makes sense, laces (or Velcro, buckles) allow for more adjustment than a slip-on or pull-on. I have found that work boots fit differently than athletic shoes. And when purchasing something like a steel-toe boot you sure can’t get one that is too short. Steel will not stretch out. Some of this just sounds so basic, but it is knowing the little things that will help in getting that just right fit.
I hope this helped you and we will post more on finding the shoe that works for you.