What to look for in a good shoe – What does a podiatrist suggest is a good shoe?

The main functions of a good shoe are: Support and Protection. When a shoe supports the foot, the muscles of the foot work less, which ultimately leads to more comfort and less foot pain such as metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis and heel pain. Good arch support is often needed for running shoes and walking shoes to prevent the foot from overpronation and overuse injuries.

Here are the most important aspects you should look for in a shoe when buying any shoe, be it running shoes, walking shoes or work shoes.

  1. The shoe should only bend where your foot bends (at the joint of the big toe).
  2. The shoe should resist being twisted (wrung out).
  3. The heel counter should be fully enclosed, high and firm.
  4. The toe box region should be deep and roomy.
  5. The shoe should be a thumb width longer than the longest toe.
  6. The shoe should be able to be fastened to the foot by a buckle, belt, strap, elastic or laces.
  7. If a heel is present it should be no higher than 2.5cm.
  8. The shape of the shoe should match the foot (curved last for a curved foot). If the shape of the shoe does not match the foot, the shoe will be uncomfortable.
  9. The midsole of the shoe should be solid/firm yet shock absorbing.

Apply these standards to your existing shoes and any shoes you purchase going forward and see how they compare.