After double bunion surgery 17 years ago I began my search for well-made, comfortable shoes that allowed my body weight to be supported by my entire foot.  After years of wearing “flats” I realized that just because shoes don’t have high heels doesn’t mean they are comfortable or good for me.  During massage school I learned about the way our feet and ankles move as we walk and run.  That’s when I learned that shoes need to allow for the natural motion of our feet.  That includes having enough space for our feet to widen as we roll through our step.  Unfortunately, most women’s shoes are not made for comfort, aka wide toe boxes.  It seems “fat” feet are almost as unfashionable as thunder thighs.

Luckily ballet slippers and loafers have come into vogue, making wearing flats more fashionable.    When considering the price of a well-made shoe, consider the money an investment in your health.  Remember, a large part of your health depends on you moving throughout your day.  If your feet hurt you won’t want to be standing, walking, or climbing stairs. Make decisions for your feet that invite you to MOVE!

When purchasing shoes consider the following points.

  1. Stay as close to a zero-drop, or flat shoe as possible. “Even a low heel displaces you a number of degrees from the vertical, tipping you forward so that ankles, knees, pelvis and spine must compensate and try to function at unnatural angles.”
  2. The soles must be flexible.  This means that they allow your foot to move front to back as you step and side-to-side to assure balance.
  3. Look for a wide toe box.  Your feet should be able to expand as you roll through your step.
  4. No arch support.  Your foot has a natural arch that flexes naturally as you move.  Your shoes should allow this motion without an unnatural support.
  5. Thin soles.  Your foot is made to feel the ground as part of your body’s system of proprioceptivity; balance and spacial location. Soles should provide your foot protection from environmental hazards; hot, cold, sharp objects, and abrasion.

Take these five points with you next time you shop for shoes. Look for a pair that has as many of the five points as possible. Your feet will thank you, and so will your lower back.

But here’s the best advice I can give you, “Once you find a shoe that fits you well, allows your foot to move naturally and feel good at the end of the day – BUY THEM IN EVERY COLOR THEY COME IN!”


Thanks to Rick Merriam of sharing the five points to consider when purchasing shoes for healthy feet.