A shoe that doesn’t fit well is liable to rub. Too tight, and your shoes will create pressure on your feet where they shouldn’t. Too loose, and they will slip and rub on your feet, creating friction. Both possibilities lead to blisters. So how can you ensure a good fit?
Don’t just assume that your feet are the same size as when you last bought shoes! Your feet can change size and shape over time. Measure your feet regularly, and make sure you’re wearing socks when you do. Also bear in mind that your feet may be different sizes and, if so, you should opt for shoes that accommodate the larger foot.
Make sure that there is enough space for you to wiggle your toes! Cramped toes are a surefire shortcut to discomfort, because squeezing them together will cause friction that can result in blisters. You’re looking for approximately a finger’s width of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
Feet can vary significantly in width, which is why some shoemakers offer narrower or wider options, and these brands are more likely to have an option that guarantees a perfect fit. The correct width and suitable arch support (i.e. not too flat and not too high-heeled) will help distribute your weight evenly and minimise the dreaded friction.
- A little extra space…
Remember – especially if you are buying shoes you plan to use during physical activity or in warm weather – that feet have a tendency to swell under certain conditions. Bear this in mind when selecting a shoe, and try to make sure there is enough room for a little swelling without the shoe becoming too tight against the skin.