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Selecting the Correct Shoe Size

To help find the appropriate shoe fit, it is important to keep certain things in mind when shopping for shoes. So you like the color, style and price, what else is there to know, you ask? There are a few things that you may not know that can help you make smarter choices in your shoe selection. If the appropriate shoe size and/or shoe type are not correct for your foot type, it can cause hammertoes, bunions, corns, calluses, or heel pain. Many times the size that is on the box is not necessarily the correct size for your foot. So ladies, don’t be in denial about your shoe size, get the correct size and prevent future foot problems. As we age, men and women, our waist size may increase a little, well so does our foot size. Here are a few points to remember:

  • Heel to toe length: this is commonly used to determine your shoe size, but this is not the most accurate measurement. Reason is that the great toe joint may not always be at the ball of the shoe, so foot problems may occur.

  • Heel to ball length: this is the most important factor in determining the size of the shoe. This measurement helps determine the correct position for the arch of the shoe and for the foot to bend in the proper position as well.

  • Width: measure from the first metatarsal head to the fifth metatarsal head (widest part of the foot). Wearing a shoe that is too wide for a narrow foot type, allows the foot to move around in the shoe, which can cause injury due to increased mobility of your foot inside the shoe. Wearing a shoe that is too narrow for a wider foot type, can cause areas of pressure and not allow the toes to extend fully in the toe box. The excessive pressure can cause corns and calluses and the toes can develop into hammer, claw or mallet toes.

  • Girth: thickness of the foot; measure from the top of the foot to the sole of the foot. A thicker foot will require an increased depth of shoe. A thinner foot may require extra padding to take up space in the shoe.

  • Shape: take into account the shape of your foot, not just the shape of the shoe.

Many patients may have foot conditions that will not allow them to wear over the counter shoes without modifications. Their condition may require custom made shoes. If you have questions, regarding your shoe gear, schedule an appointment at Shenandoah Podiatry. I’d be glad to help you.


Dedicated to your health,


Dr. Jennifer Keller