If the Shoe Fits…

Is it September already? Seems just last week it was August. Sorry kids, summer is coming to a close. It was a pretty good one too. Nice and hot here in NYC and a bit relaxing too. So now it’s time for the parents to celebrate a bit, but don’t get too complacent my NYC parents, because if your kids have homework, so do you. I can’t relieve you of your dining room table fingers through hair pencils completely bitten misery, but I can help with a bit of school prep which may be, um, fitting for all of us- shoe shopping.

I would preface this topic by pointing out the fact that many of my NYC podiatry patients don’t wear shoes that fit properly- and you know who you are. But it’s not your fault, for the most part. Shoes just aren’t made for real feet, especially for you ladies in the audience. So here are a few tips which should help. Nothing too scientific, just a few cc’s of common sense.

Feet are generally wider than we think. Especially for those who have bunions, tailor’s bunions or very flexible feet. The width of the forefoot in these cases is significantly greater when standing than when sitting. So it’s important to measure for the forefoot, and do so standing.

Feet swell. And smell, but that’s a different topic. But seriously, all feet swell a bit, some a bit more, and it’s worse at the end of the day, so that’s the best time to obtain an accurate measurement of shoe size and ascertain shoe fit.

Your feet are not the same size. Yes, you have a bigger foot, which is attached to your long leg, if you’re like 96% of the population. Size for the big foot.

Foot size changes. Yes, it’s true. No I don’t know why, but it’s a phenomenon that for some people, feet get a bit bigger and wider with age. And here’s a cruel irony, we lose fat in places we could use it, like the padding on the bottom of the foot, and generally gain fat in places we don’t want it, like everywhere else. You’re still beautiful to me.

If it feels good in the store… it’s going to feel good at home. And the corollary is true, if it’s really a squeeze to get a size nine foot into a size seven shoe, might be best to pick something that actually feels good on the foot, Cinderella.

For the most part, these principles apply to kids as well, although their feet are much more plastic and need room to be flexible and of course, grow. A good kids’ shoe will accommodate for a bit of growth, and remain flexible and durable.

So back to school doesn’t have to be all bad, it’s a good excuse to go shopping, hopefully without the kids. If the shoe doesn’t fit then I’ll…

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

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