Alexandra K. Grulke, DPM, FACFAS, CWS
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Trained in all aspects of podiatry, with special focus in pediatrics and foot/ankle reconstructive surgery

Black Dress ShoeThere are hundreds of thousands of different types of footwear out there. How does one know what type of shoe to wear? How do you avoid developing painful foot conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, or heel pain? Here are some tips for choosing the best shoes to avoid foot pain:

There is a certain 3-step shoe test that you can do to help ensure a good fit and to help prevent problematic foot conditions. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has developed a guide for children and adults. First, look for a sturdy heel cup so the back portion of the heel does not easily collapse. Second, check the shoe for flexibility. According to the APMA, the shoe should bend where your toes do and the toe box should not be too stiff or bend too much. Lastly, try twisting the shoe—it should not be easily twisted in the middle. It should have some firmness to it.

To prevent bunion symptoms, wear a shoe that has a wide toe box to it or has extra depth. This can also help alleviate the symptoms of hammertoes. Another helpful hint? It’s best to try on shoes toward the end of the day, as feet tend to swell. That way you will ensure the best fit. You should also have about a thumbs width between the front of the shoe and the end of your longest toe. Don’t forget about width, either! Many shoe companies offer different style widths to accommodate your foot, so you can find the one that feels best to you. Also, make sure the shoes feel comfortable right away when you try them on—they should never need a “break in period.”

For more tips and tricks on finding the best shoes to avoid foot pain, visit our website or schedule an appointment by calling (877) 905-5907 for Podiatry Care Specialists, PC at a Southeastern Pennsylvania location near you.

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I have had a bunion for a few months now. Had no idea that a new pair of shoes could help ease the pain I get every time I put on my shoes. I'll look for shoes with a wider toe box, and see if the pain starts to fade. Thanks for the great tips.
by Dave Thompson May 15, 2015 at 05:59 PM
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