Sarah's shoe buying guide
SHOE SHOPPING RULES:
- Always shop for shoes in the afternoon or evening when feet may be more swollen
- Price of a shoe doesn’t determine whether a shoe has good or poor characteristics.
- Don’t fall in love with one model of shoe. Shoe manufactures change how they make their shoes every year. The same model shoe may have an entirely different design with different materials the following year (for good or bad). Always try shoes on and give them the “Sarah Approval” shoe tests before purchasing.
- Shoes need to be replaced before they show excessive wear. Even if the outside and bottom of the shoe looks good, the cushioning midsole (between the bottom of the shoe and the inside of the shoe) can be worn. Running shoes usually last 200 - 300 miles. TEST: put your hand into the forefoot of the shoe and note the compression that has taken place in the ball of the foot.
- When looking for athletic shoes, try the Postural Restoration Institute's Shoe Recommendation List. They personally inspect many shoes every year and pick only the best shoes for their list. I recommend people bring in the list to the store and show the salesperson.
- When in doubt, bring your purchased shoes to your therapist to approve. A Postural Restoration therapist should be able to test whether your shoes aid in neutralizing your feet, knees and hips.
- Minimalist shoes: If you do not have any foot or knee problems and do not struggle to maintain a “neutral” pelvis I do not have any problems with people trying minimalist shoes. However, if you do have any knee or foot injuries I promote shoes that provide more stability to improve the biomechanics of the lower body.
If you wear orthotics:
- Bring your orthotics with you when purchasing shoes
- Shoes that have removable inserts accommodate orthotics more easily
- Shoes may need to be 1/2 size larger than normal to accommodate orthotics
- Good shoes are incredibly important even with the use of orthotics. There is no sense in using orthotics in bad shoes. The shoe and orthotic should work together to stabilize your feet.
Sarah's shoe tests
Derived from Postural Restoration Institute and Dr. Paul Coffin, D.P.M.
- The shoe bends only across the ball of the foot (not the middle).
- Firm, strong heel counter (made of firm materials and does not yield to being squeezed & the heel fabric doesn’t fold in)
- Firm sole materials - the sole should not be squishy or yield to finger pressure
- The arch area shouldn’t be exceptionally cut out
- Tall toe box that "hugs" your heel (narrower for narrow heels)
- Cushioning in the forefoot is important but not in the heels