That pair of shoes. There is always that pair of shoes which you visit every day saying hello and then goodbye to. We wave to it like how we do when we see an old friend. For which we dedicate a big chunk of our next paycheck to. We imagine ourselves wearing it. How it feels on our feet, and how it matches our outfit.
Only to be in that severe crushing moment when you, after a long agonizing wait, finally can take that pair home, but, as heartbreaking as it is, and you can freely correct me if this was never true, they don’t have your size. Now, you may be tempted, but don’t even try, to settle for a size smaller just because you want this particular pair that bad, this most probably will give you ugly ingrown toenails and hideous calluses. Not to mention that they are extremely uncomfortable. You may sulk on it for days. You might even get so disappointed that you may start to wonder, will you ever find the perfect pair of shoe again?
Well, sure you can. The perfect pair is just around the corner. But first and foremost, know your feet. Yes, that’s right, know them. What type of feet do you have? Are you flat-footed, do you have a high arched foot or neutral? These types have different needs as far as footwear is concerned. They have different responses to motion, are not equally stable with regards to walking and gait, and generally fit differently with each type of footwear.
Anatomically speaking, our feet have natural arches which serve to stabilize them when we are walking or running. These also give us the right amount of cushioning that we need when we, for example, stand for long periods of time. Good footwear is that which support these arches. They are that which does not antagonize the natural contours of the feet but actually move and work with them. The type of shoe that you need to get the best support for your feet depends on which type of feet you actually have.
Flat-footed individuals are those who have, as the name implies, flat feet. Those with low arches or no arches at all. These people are the ones who have a tendency to trip or to suddenly lose their balance when in fact they are walking on a smooth sidewalk. These individuals may need shoes that are stable and doesn’t require much effort to balance. Try to stay away from 3-inch high heeled shoes or stilettos. My apologies, but these may not work for you. However, you can go with pairs which can easily be balanced and managed, like colorful ballet flats or funky sneakers. They equally make the good impression so long as you choose the one which complements your over-all style and flair.
High-arched individuals have elevated foot arches. These people usually complain of pain on the leg muscles especially after doing impact activities like jumping or running. These individuals lack the support and the shock-absorbing qualities of neutrally arched feet. People with high arches may not feel comfortable on flat shoes, ballet shoes and the like since the arches of the foot does not have proper cushioning and support in these pairs. Make sure to check for adequate cushioning and support, especially on the midsole where the arches are. Also, the shoes suited for this type will need to have more flexibility, this way the shoes follow the contours of the feet, thereby reducing the stress on the midsole.
If you have neither of these types of feet, you are golden. You have neutral arches. You have almost unlimited selections. You can wear anything. You won’t need to have to carefully pick shoes which give you the most stable gait. You can indulge in 3 to 5 inch high heeled shoes, sport a wedge, or go with the classical pumps. No problem. Go ahead and take your pick, you lucky princess you.
Have you checked your arches yet? Have you now realized why that pair of flats hurts you so much after just a few steps? Why you feel your feet has been crushed after a workout? Are you now asking yourself, have I been buying the right pairs? Well, now that you know more, you would be more critical in getting a pair for your soon to be happier feet.
So, the next time you eye that pair, make sure that your feet will fit. Fit the feet. Not the shoes with it.