Magic Valley Idaho Foot Doctors Offer Helpful Tips for Choosing the Best Shoes to Promote Good Health

Many people are surprised to learn that footwear makes a big difference in how they feel throughout their entire body. While wearing custom shoes isn’t always necessary, reducing the risk of pain and other issues in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and backs often starts with the proper foundation. 

But how do you know what shoes to choose for better foot health? At Canyon Foot + Ankle, we don’t just treat foot problems—we want to help you prevent them, too. Here are some of our general recommendations that address various needs. 

Footwear Features That Promote Healthy Feet

Wearing the right shoes is important in many aspects of our lives. People managing diabetes, for example, rely on their footwear for vital circulation and stability. If you’re an athlete, choosing the proper shoes for each sport is essential to staying active and avoiding injury. And certain professions require functional footwear that provides all-day support and even protection. 

Many shoe manufacturers recognize the importance of the following features: 

  • Good arch support
  • Low heels (less than two inches)
  • Soles with traction
  • Wide toe boxes that allow plenty of wiggle room
  • A proper fit, including room for an orthotic or arch support if necessary
  • Breathable materials that conform to feet, like leather and suede
  • Good protection against weather, the activity you’re doing, and what you might encounter in the environment
  • Shock absorption women-shopping-for-shoes

Best Way to Buy Shoes 

Another essential tip for getting a good pair of shoes is to try them on in the afternoon or evening. Feet tend to swell up during the day, so if you buy your shoes first thing in the morning, they could be uncomfortably tight later. And remember, always try on shoes with the socks you’re most likely to wear with them, and if you use orthotics, insert those as well to ensure a proper fit. 

Shoes Foot Doctors Often Recommend

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) offers an extensive list of brands that accommodate many of your needs. While the organization doesn’t review all products, it assesses those sent in for evaluation. It’s possible to find good shoes in various different styles with the APMA Seal of Approval, so if you don’t want to wear walking or running shoes everywhere, you can still take care of your feet. Here are just a few options to consider: 

  • Abeo sandals
  • Allegria (work well with orthotics)
  • Ariat boots
  • Bravo
  • Birkenstock 
  • Chaco boots and sandals
  • Dansko clogs, shoes, and boots
  • Dr. Comfort
  • HYTEST Safety Footwear
  • Justin boots
  • Keds Kids
  • Kuru sandals
  • Medifeet
  • Orthofeet
  • Stride Rite
  • Strive footwear 
  • Timberland Pro
  • Vionics sandals and shoes

Choosing Shoes for Seniors

When older adults and anyone with mobility issues shop for shoes, they should be sure to select footwear that reduces their risk of falls. This means a lightweight model with flexible soles that allows you to feel the ground a bit while walking. Here again, a wide toe box is essential. Some good choices include:

  • Original KEDS sneakers
  • Propet Viator
  • Propet Tour Knit
  • SKECHERS Go Walk

If you’d prefer shoes that are easy to put on, try these brands:

  • Zeba 
  • Kizik
  • Skechers Slip-Ins

What to Avoid When Shoe Shopping

Just as there are characteristics that can make a shoe more beneficial, there are also certain characteristics that won’t help your foot health, such as: 

  • Heels higher than two inches, which put too much pressure on certain areas of your feet
  • Styles that squish toes together
  • Improper fit—shoes that are too small might cause ingrown toenails and if they’re too large, your feet slip, which leads to blisters, heel pain, and other injuries
  • Footwear not designed for a particular activity that may cause injuries
  • Inadequate arch support in styles such as ballet flats and flip flops is a common problem for flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis

Canyon Foot + Ankle Can Help With Customized Solutions, Too

If your feet are irregularly shaped or you have certain medical conditions that increase your risk of foot ulcers, arrange for a consultation with one of our podiatrists at Canyon Foot + Ankle about your specific footwear needs. We can recommend some mass-produced options that might work well for you or help you decide if custom footwear is better.