Choose Comfortable Career & Dress Shoes

How To Choose Comfortable Career & Dress Shoes

With the advent of new shoe soling materials and the recent growth trend of European Fashion Comfort, women today have some of the broadest selections of attractive and comfortable footwear to choose from. Today, comfort is fashion a trend many women hope is here to stay.

Foot comfort and foot health is often a function of shoe selection. The wrong shoes can cause pain and discomfort. Women should select from lower heels with broader bases that will help take pressure off of the ball of the foot. For additional forefoot comfort, select a style with a broader and deeper toe shape that actually fits the shape of your feet.

Experts recommend that you choose a style with a shock absorbent sole and padding at the ball of the foot made from either latex or polyurethane. Today, many such styles exist a vast improvement over the leather-bottomed, pointed shapes of yester-year. Pointed, leather-bottomed dress shoes on high heels are a recipe for discomfort and foot problems such as bunions, neuromas, hammertoes, etc.

Shoes that come up higher on the instep provide a better all-around fit. The instep is a stronger part of the foot than the toes. Shoes that hold-on through the instep don’t have to hold so much through the toes. These shoes allow the toes more room and comfort than low-cut shoes.

When selecting a Career or Dress shoe, look for:

•  a low (10/8 or less) broad based heel;
•  a good, firm heel counter;
•  sole and heel materials that provide cushioning and shock absorption: i.e. latex or polyurethane;
•  a broader and deeper toe shape;
•  a design (pattern) that comes up higher on the instep;
•  a store that knows and cares about fitting and has a selection of choices for you to choose from.

Very tired feet should consider using dressy footbed sandals as dress shoes (one of the great advantages of Spring/Summer over Fall/Winter). There are many dressy footbed sandals that have tremendous support but still look great. Some footbed sandals even come in black patent leather and have higher heels. The construction of these sandals provides almost as much support as a custom foot orthosis.

It helps to think outside the box: look at all of the waking hours in your week and maximize the number of hours spent in truly foot-friendly footwear. If you have to wear pumps for eight hours at work, wear a footbed sandal, casual shoe, walking shoe, or athletic shoe at home or on the weekends. By resting and supporting your feet during your off hours you give the muscles and joints in your feet the rest they need for the working week and make your dressier shoes more comfortable.

Did You Know?

•  According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, seventy-five percent of all Americans will develop a foot problem in their lifetime.

•  Approximately 88 percent of American women wear shoes that are too small for them.

•  The average American woman’s foot size is 8 wide, yet the best-selling shoe size is 7 1/2 medium.

•  Women have four times as many foot problems as men, due largely to their choices in footwear.

•  Ill-fitting shoes are the main reason that women account for 90 percent of the foot repair surgery in the United States for common foot problems such as hammertoes, bunions, and neuromas. This surgery costs approximately $3.5 billion annually and results in 15 million lost workdays.

•  Fewer than 10% of shoe salespeople have had even basic training in foot anatomy or shoe sizing.