While often just thought of as a fashion footnote, shoes are perhaps the most important item in your whole wardrobe. No other item you wear has as much of an impact on the wellbeing of your entire body!

So it just makes sense to treat your feet to decent shoes.

Here are some tips to help you gauge the fit and quality of shoes, particularly the ones that you wear every day:

  • Ideally, your shoe should be adjustable with laces, Velcro or a buckle so that over time it can be tightened or loosened as required.
  • It should have a stiff back to cradle the heel, preventing vertical or horizontal movement.
  • There should be sufficient room at the front of the shoe for your toes, in both width and length as your foot both spreads out and lengthens as you walk. (A good rule of thumb is to pick a shoe that is longer than your longest toe by about the width of your thumb!)

Are your Shoes made of Quality Materials?

When assessing the quality of shoes, it’s important to look at the materials they have been made from – specifically in the sole, the midsole, and the upper sections.

Sole: Consider the purpose of the shoe. Do you need grip eg traction for wet and slippery surfaces; or protection from ground that’s rough or sharp underfoot? Look for the best material that fits the purpose, and remember a thicker sole is going to last longer.

Midsole: Look for a cushioned midsole. It provides comfort and support if you are on your feet all day; and for runners and athletes, it will help to absorb the shock of your foot hitting the ground. If you need your feet to be kept warm, look for shoes or boots with a sheepskin lining or ones made from EVA. Over time, the midsole of your shoes becomes thinner and stiffer – so if you notice any deep creases, can twist your shoe like a wet towel, or can feel gravel under foot when wearing them, it’s time to replace them.

Uppers: This is the top of the shoe or really what we and others see on our feet. Besides looking good, the role of the uppers is to protect your feet.

Sandals are great for the warmer weather and allow our feet to breathe but we still need support. The range of sandals from Naot or Emu Australia, for example, are stylish and offer great comfort and support for your feet.

Fit and Finish

Remember that you’re going to get the most use from a well-fitting shoe and one that is finished with good stitching, adhesive and laces, for example.

One final tip - shoes shouldn’t be worn in until they feel comfortable. A good quality shoe should fit your feet from the moment you try them on.

Now that you have an understanding of what matters when it comes to the quality of shoes, you can put your best foot forward, each and every day!

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