Points to keep in mind while buying shoes

To buy the right shoes for your feet,check that the stitching and lining is such that the seam does not irritate the foot. Keep reading and get to know about certain things to keep in mind while buying shoes.

The most common problem is the back curve in high-heeled shoes, as a high back presses against the Achilles tendon. So this must be checked before buying the shoe. Also, the insole should allow air to flow, which in turn reduces sweating. The shoe insteps should be cushioned to withstand pressure and long hours of work.

Another tip for buying shoes is that the shoes should have a sturdy shank (the shank is the part of the shoe running from the heel to the ball of the foot). To test this: put the shoe on a hard surface and press your thumb on the arch area, directly in front of the heel. If it does not buckle, the shoe is right.

Another point to remember when choosing the right footwear is that the back part of the shoe, at the heel, (the counter should not be shaggy: look for a counter that is reinforced with leather or other material). In general soft leather is the best shoe material because it "breathes."

There is a greater likelihood of foot infection with such synthetic fibers as nylon, rubber, plastic. They do not allow the circulation around the feet.

Taking care of our shoes is very important. Rundown heels can throw our whole body out of balance. Check the heels and soles regularly. Keep the shoes clean (dirty shoes speak of bad grooming) and polish them regularly. Keep them in a covered shoe-box, or wrapped in individual polythene packets. Check for signs of wear and tear and get them attended to.

Though most of us have a couple of "favorite" shoes or sandals, it is a good idea to rotate our footwear. Make it a point to use the other pairs at least once a week for variety and also to give the "favorite" pair a much-needed rest.

During the monsoons, however, it is advisable to invest in a pair of plastic sandals, especially if you have to wade through water-logged streets. However, change into leather shoes as soon as you reach office. Reverse the process on your way back home in the evening. This saves your expensive leather shoe from being ruined. Also, never wear damp or wet shoes — they are a sure invitation to a cold or foot cramps.

An expensive pair of shoes is not necessarily the best. Look for comfort, not price. A relatively inexpensive pair may be very comfortable, and "the right choice, baby." Go through your shoe rack periodically and chuck out or give away all the shoes/sandals which hurt and which you never wear. It is wiser to have a few comfortable pairs of shoes rather than rows and rows of shoes which are "instruments of torture."


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