Last year, we published a blog post titled “Why Don't We Sell Our Shoes Online?” which explained the SHOES-n-FEET philosophy of bridging the gap between customer service-oriented retail, foot health education and the medical community.
Our highly certified shoe fitters provide a full-service professional fitting experience, including gait evaluation, pressure identification, and shoe selection and customization. One of the first steps to a perfect fit (and happy feet) is getting a correct measurement of the foot. In honor of today’s annual Measure Your Feet Day, we’d like to stress the importance of having your foot measured by a professional.
When you go into a shoe store, you have your shoe size in mind, right? You’re a size 8, just like you’ve been since you can remember, right? Not necessarily! Even though your body technically stops growing during your teenage years, your feet still change over time due to a number of causes. So no more assumptions about your foot size! Age may have caused your feet to lose natural padding or perhaps weight gain or pregnancy caused them to grow. Over time, your arch loses its curve; as your foot collapses, your feet may become longer or wider.
A study by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society found that a whopping 88 percent of women in the U.S. wear shoes that are too small. No wonder so many women struggle from foot pain! Pain, bunions, ingrown toenails, hammer toe, plantar fasciitis, plain ol’ ugly feet – all potential results of wearing the wrong size day after day. And other studies have resulted in similar findings among older people and diabetics, two populations that have even more to lose when it comes to proper shoe fit. Balance issues caused by the wrong shoes can lead to falls and injuries; shoes too tight or narrow can up the risk of dangerous diabetic foot ulcers, especially for those with diabetic neuropathy.
And while measuring your feet yourself is better than nothing, it’s only with a trained shoe fitting professional that you’ll get a truly correct measurement. Some shoes only differ by as small as 1/8th of an inch from one size to another, so accuracy is really key to finding a proper fit. Shoe fitters will know to look out for size variations based on time of day and the type of sock you plan to use with a given shoe. He or she will use a Brannock device (check out the cool patent design above), a tool specifically designed for this purpose and with an accuracy rate of 95-96% - much better than “eyeing it” or tracing your foot on a piece of paper (especially when we know that your feet spread out when you stand)! Your two feet may vary in size, so the shoe fitter will be able to give you the exact length and width for both. The resulting shoe size selected should fit the larger foot.
At SHOES-n-FEET, we will measure both your feet for the correct length and width, as well as your arch height. We’ll take into consideration your foot size when sitting (non-weight bearing) and when standing and walking around (weight bearing). This will allow us to match your foot size and shape to specific brands and styles that will provide you with the highest level of functionality and comfort. Don’t forget that shoes fit in different ways: boots and sneakers are not created equal. Sizes may not always be true, and the shape may affect which size is right for you. Due to foot health conditions, you might also need additional space inside the shoe in certain areas. So it’s important to know your foot size, not just your shoe size.