Buying the best shoes for your feet

9 August 2011 - posted by Formthotics HQ

If you have just been fitted with orthotics or have been having some pain or discomfort in your your feet or legs you should keep the following in mind when shopping for new shoes. Take your orthotics with you when you go shopping. 

Dress/everyday shoes

It is essential to have a stable shoe as the foundation for your feet.  The more stable the shoe the better the orthotics will work as it has a solid base to reinforce it. Look for one one that holds onto your foot properly, has a lace up or strap across and is torsionally stiff. The heel should be as wide as your own and preferably it should have has a removable innersole so your orthotics will fit without altering the fit and comfort of the shoe.

Check out these great examples by Zierra and Merrell.

Check out Formthotics orthotics for your dress shoes.

Best shoes for walking

You can use a running shoe for walking but not vice versa, so if you are just walking buy a specific walking shoe, if you plan to progress to running think about purchasing a running shoe.  A walking shoe should be torsionally stiff as well as stiff right through the shank (the shank runs between the heel and the outsole, and sits under the arch of the foot). It should be hard to bend the front of the shoe up – this provides support and good propulsion for walking. The shoe should hold onto your foot well and be the correct size for you.

This is a good example Asics Gel Arata.

Check out Formthotics orthotics for walking shoes.

Best trail running shoes / trail walking shoes

It is important to have a trail specific shoe for this kind of running. These have more grip on the bottom for better traction and generally are made of more durable fabrics. Often trail shoes are higher around the ankle, this minimises the risk of rolling your ankle due to uneven surfaces.

A good example of this is the Asics Trabucoor the Merrell Chameleon Arc 2.

Check out Formthotics orthotics for running or walking.

Best shoes for a bit of everything (i.e. gym, running and walking)

If you are doing a bit of everything it is best to go for a cross trainer. Generally good cross trainers will do everything to 80%. If your exercise is more outdoor or court based you can also get running or court cross trainers. Cross trainers are usually reinforced around the side of the foot to support  twisting and turning movements, like in court sports or in a the gym class. This also increases the longevity of the shoe. A great example of a good cross trainer are the Asics Gel 710 series.

When it comes to sports shoes, being fitted by a professional is the key to establishing the right fit and control for you. In New Zealand, stores such as the The Front RunnerShoe Clinic and Smiths Sport Shoes provide this service. In Australia try The Athletes Foot.