Many people underestimate the part that footwear can play in causing foot problems. Always wear shoes which fit you properly. It is good practice to have your feet measured before buying.

To fit well shoes must be:

  • wide enough (so the toes are not squashed together)
  • long enough (to prevent the toes from touching the end of the shoes)
  • firm-fitting around the heel (so as not to rub)
  • held on with a firm adjustable lace or strap fastening, high across the foot (slip on shoes are kept in place either because they are too small for the foot or by curling the toes, both of which are bad for your feet).

Always wear the right shoes for the right occasion. Shoes which you wear the majority of the day should be fitted properly and have good support. Only wear court or slip-on shoes for short periods; they don’t fit well and have no support.

Wear new shoes for an hour or two initially and then gradually build up the time you wear them over a couple of weeks to help prevent discomfort.

Many foot problems can only be improved when correct shoes are worn. If you have problems buying shoes ask your local podiatrist for advice.

Page last reviewed: 9 October, 2023