Choosing the right footwear

Ninety per cent of the population wears shoes that are one size too small. For the majority of people this is not a problem.

However, there are a number of foot and ankle conditions in which poorly fitting shoes can be an aggravating factor. Therefore, it's important to check your shoes regularly and, if necessary, replace any footwear that is not up to scratch with more suitable shoes.

What not to wear

A shoe that compresses the foot, or collapses under the weight applied to it. Shoes like this offer minimal support and result in extra pressure being placed on the plantar fascia ligament which can lead to plantar fasciitis.

Shoes with an unstable, non-supportive and flimsy heel. Wearing shoes with a slight heel (up to one and a half inches) can actually be helpful, especially if you have tight calves and have always worn shoes with a heel.

Thin soled shoes. Try and find shoes that have cushioned soles, particularly in the heel area.

Badly worn, ill-fitting and distorted shoes. Avoid shoes that do not fit correctly. Stop wearing shoes that have become badly worn and distorted. The following picture gives an example of what a good shoe should look like from behind (example A). Avoid wearing shoes that look like example B from behind.

Getting the right shoes

How to check if your shoes fit correctly

  • Visit Healthy Footwear Guide for an in-depth guide to what types of shoes are suitable for dealing with and/or avoiding foot and ankle problems.
  • Visit Shoe Fitters to find your nearest shoe fitting specialist. A lot of shoe shops have staff that are qualified to find the right fit for the customer.
  • For more information about shoe fitting, visit NHS Sheffield. In addition to this, Sheffield Podiatry Services offers a professional shoe fitting service.