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SOLE CONTROL, INC. 486 THF Blvd. Chesterfield, Missouri 63005 636-536-9800

Your Pedorthic Facility for Custom made Foot Orthotics and Footwear in many varieties and sizes

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How Your Shoes Should Fit

Loose heel slippage cannot hurt your feet because they are loose. Tight slippage can cause blisters.

Avoid buying shoes too small! When the shoes are on your feet, there should be at least one half inch between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. If this is not the case, keep trying larger sizes. When fit properly, a MEPHISTO shoe will feel like an old friend. In walking, it is important to give your toes a good degree of freedom. You don t want them locked in. (We like to say you should be able to play the piano with your toes.) The same thing applies to the heel. A true walking shoe bends with your foot. There is absolutely no need for the heel to fit tight. The point is, your foot should be cradled, not bound.

Above is a properly shoe

Above is a mis-fitted shoe

Advice from the American Orthopedic Foot And Anlke Society

More than 43.1 million Americans–one in every six persons–have trouble with their feet, mostly from improperly fitting shoes. A huge public health risk, foot problems cost the U.S. $3.5 billion a year.

We re all susceptible to foot and ankle injuries, but we can reduce our risk by wearing properly fitted shoes that conform to the natural shape of our feet. In selecting shoes, keep this basic principle of good fit in mind: Your feet should never be forced to conform to the shape of a pair of shoes. Shoes that do not fit can cause bunions, corns, callouses hammer toes and other disabling foot disorders. Start with a good quality sock. Socks are your first layer of protection from the ground. Have both feet measured at least once a year. Your foot size increases as you get older.

Shoes do not have to be tight on the heel.

Soles on new shoes are stiff. When your foot bends to take a step in a new shoe, your heels should slip slightly. 1/8 movement is normal but can feel like much more. Loose slipping in the heels will not cause blisters when broken in gradually, but tight shoes that are too small and slip can from too much friction. It is much more important to give your forefoot lots of room. Breaking in shoes gradually is the best strategy. There should be at least 3/8 to 1/2″ space from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe while you are standing. Your feet get longer while moving. Fit new shoes to your largest foot. Most people have one foot larger than the other. Walk around in the shoes to make sure they fit well and feel comfortable. If necessary, use a fitting aid for the smaller foot. Sizes vary among shoe brands and styles. Every shoe company has it s own lasts and are sized to their specifications. Every last (below) is a different size and different volume. A size 8B in one company could fit like a 9-1/2 EE in another. The 2 lasts below could be the same size but of course would fit totally different

Regarding widths: Shoes come in widths from most narrow: 4A, 3A, 2A, A, B, C, D, 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, and 6E being the widest. When you talk about width is not a linear measurement but a circumference measurement. As you go wider the shoe gets bigger around, not from side to side. The difference in a single width is only 1/16 in circumference so most shoe companies skip every other width. 4A, 2A, B, D, 2E, 4E and 6E. They do that because 2 widths is only 1/8 around. It is easy to take up width in a shoe by adding an 1/8 insole and that would take up 2 widths. You may have to buy your shoes wider to allow enough width to use your orthotics. So don t despair if you are prescribed custom orthotics.

Judge a shoe by how it fits on your foot not by the marked size. When the shoe is on your foot, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes. If the shoes feel too tight, don’t buy them. Shoes should fit and feel roomy. They will stretch to fit your feet” is not how a shoe should be fitted. Most high heeled-shoes have a pointed. narrow toe box that crowds the toes and forces them into an unnatural triangular shape. As heel height increases, the pressure under the ball of the foot may double, placing greater pressure on the forefoot as it is forced into the pointed toe box. Women should not wear shoes with heels higher than 1 1/2 inches. High heels are best for short wearing times, and sitting. Trust your shoe fitting experts, pedorthists. They are professionals who have extensive training in shoe fitting. Pedorthists are experts at solving foot problems. Your feet should feel good. Pain is an indication that your shoes are not properly fit.


How long should my shoes last?

Depending on your height, weight, and how fast or slow you walk everyone wears shoes differently. A 100 pound woman who walks very fast for, say two miles may wear out a shoe quicker than a 300 pound man who walks very slowly on that same two miles.

The average foot perspires 1 cup a day. This can cause shoe linings to break down. It is important to alternate your shoes and orthoses to give them a day or 2 to dry. Removing custom orthoses so air can reach all surfaces helps them last longer.

Every shoe has a limit to the wear it can give. When polyurethane soles wear past the outer shell they rupture across the point of contact, most often across the ball of the foot. On average, this occurs after about 1,500,000 flexes. Like wearing a hole in a leather sole, which occurs at 500,000 flexes, soles do wear out. Rubber soles tend to wear the longest. Many of the better quality shoes today can be resoled.