Your complete guide to buying shoes for every occasion

Shoes are an essential need. But with so many varieties out there for everyone, the criteria for buying them vary widely. Here’s a practical guide to help you find the perfect pair.

Your complete guide to buying shoes for every occasion

[Image Credit: iStock.com/andresr]

Why is this important?

We’ve all endured the pain of wearing a new pair of shoes that make us wince with each little step. But beyond unbearable pain, it’s important to choose a comfortable pair to ward off injury and blisters.

  • By wearing proper shoes, those suffering from back problems can decrease their pain or prevent it altogether.
  • Avoid flip-flop sandals and high heels that pose the greatest risk for your back.
  • Opt for shoes that properly support the back while preventing injury.

For optimal comfort, invest in orthopedic shoes. They’re known for serving a number of advantages, like improving posture and soothing sore feet.

  • They offer better foot support — including for that of the heel and arch — than other types of shoes.
  • Thanks to their immense popularity, you’ll never feel short of options. Orthopedic shoes are now more stylish than ever, and you’ll certainly find a pair you like.

Consider the shape of your foot

It’s not enough to know your shoe size. Your needs will be different if you have wide feet, as opposed to narrow, for example.

If you really want to feel comfortable in your new shoes without suffering like a martyr, you have to take into account the foot as a whole: The length, width, shape of the arch, how it changes over the course of a day, and its degree of perspiration, for example.

  • For every type of foot, you could find a perfectly tailored and specialized shoe. Certain shoe stores offer suggestions on all types of shoes and sizes designed for different feet.
  • If you’re looking for a type of shoe to serve a certain purpose or support a certain activity, it’s in your best interest to visit a specialty store.

3 types of sport shoes

Did you know that podiatrists say up to 65 per cent of people make a poor choice when purchasing sneakers, failing to factor in the shoe’s purpose and their foot type? You’re not alone!

  • Whether for running, walking or playing different types of sports, you can find the right shoe for your foot. The secret? Comfort. A good shoe will allow you to freely wiggle your toes while offering adequate padding for added comfort.

1. Multisport shoes

These shoes are usually made from mesh and strips, and support a variety of activities that require lateral movements, like playing tennis and basketball.

  • As for all types of shoes, try them on in the store, run a round for a few minutes, and perform some lateral movements.

In order to find the perfect multisport shoes, you need to take into account certain important factors, like the size and shape of your foot.

  • Size: Make sure you choose the right size. Consider getting your feet measured in a shoe store or by a specialist.
  • Shape: Feet generally have three types of arches: elevated arches, flat feet, and somewhere in the middle with normal arches.

2. Running shoes

A simple walk outside is enough of a testament to prove how popular jogging has become, and it's no surprise: it's practical, enjoyable, and inexpensive.

However, it's crucial to avoid skimping when it comes to buying your pair of running shoes. This is an investment that will pay off if you want to enjoy — and stay safe — during your favourite sport.

  • In addition to size, terrain and how you run , it's important to know what type of runner you are and the shape of your arch.

Types of runners: Runners are divided into three main categories based on the weight distribution from the heel of the foot to the toes: overpronation, supination and neutral pronation.

  • Overpronation favours the inside of the foot. If runners show signs of overpronation, they'll want to find a shoe providing greater support and more padding to stabilize their feet. This will also prevent them from rolling inward.
  • Supination affects the outside edge of the foot. If runners show signs of supination, they'll want to find a lighter shoe that also provides sufficient stability to prevent their feet from rolling too outward, which could cause injury.
  • Pronation, or neutral mechanics, means you land squarely on your foot. Runners with balanced pronation do not require sophisticated shoes.

Shape of the arch: Runners with normal or arched vaults require more general depreciation.

  • By contrast, runners with flat feet have a low arch or no arch, and must choose shoes suitable for flat feet.
  • These shoes must offer additional support through the midsole to maintain proper alignment of the foot and ankle.

In short, choosing the right type of running shoe for you is not that simple. The solution?

  • Head to a store specialized in running shoes where the salespeople are trained to measure your feet and find shoes precisely adapted to your activity.
  • Go to the store later in the afternoon since that's when your feet tend to swell.

It's equally important to know when it's time to change your running shoes so as to avoid injury.

How do you know when it's time to replace your running shoes? Easy.

  • You feel pain in your tibia.
  • You see visible signs of wear on your shoes' soles.
  • You haven't purchased a new pair in quite a while.
  • New shoes give you that desired spring in your step, so why not?

3. Walking and hiking shoes

Whether you enjoy long walks for pleasure or exercise, finding a good pair is essential for your health and comfort. But what should you look for in good walking shoes?

  • Walking shoes should have a narrow heel. They should wrap around your heel and not slip up and down when you walk. Why? The heel is the area that absorbs the most impact when walking.
  • Your shoes should also be flexible while providing firm arch support.
  • It's crucial that you're comfortable in your shoes while you walk.
  • Consider the type of terrain where you walk and the distance you cover every week.

Recommendations are the same for a good pair of hiking boots.

  • Look for boots that are comfortable and ideally suited for the types of hikes you plan to take.
  • Additionally, choose well-fitted boots that offer optimal support.

Formal occasions

For formal occasions, like weddings, an interview or simply to cater to your affinity for stunning shoes, your choice of shoe can completely enhance your look.

Classic shoes for men. The tried-tested-and-true option for men lies in the details. This will help them assert themselves. 

  • Consider colour, design and style of the shoe.
  • Remember that the more colours, patterns and intricate details you wear, the more your shoes should look simple and unpretentious — and vice versa!

High heels. In general, high heels are all the rage for women for special occasions. Some adore them, others detest them.

  • The good news? With the abundance of choice when it comes to high heels, you have a strong chance of finding the perfect pair — one that's both comfortable and conveys your personality.

Are you looking to buy a gorgeous pair of high heels for a formal event, like a wedding? Apart from their dazzling appearance, what else should you consider?

  • Don't neglect comfort: After all, you don't want to fall in front of everyone!
  • Break them in: Don't make the mistake of wearing your new high heels to the event for the first time. It's important to have worn them in first. You can stretch out your shoes in a few different ways: Walk home in your new shoes, stuff them with paper, and heat or freeze them.

Not a fan of high heels, and attending an event in the summer or spring?

If your shoes still feel terribly uncomfortable before the big day, don't throw them out the window just yet. Visit a good shoemaker.

  • The cobbler is a specialist in comfort with expertise in widening new shoes that hurt your feet, be they high-heeled shoes or hiking boots.

Take good care of your new pair of shoes

You've finally found the perfect pair of your dreams. What's left to do? Take good care of them, of course.

Whether you need to repair a small scratch, polish or enhance scuffed leather, by taking care of your shoes, you can walk proudly in total comfort.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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