Check out your feet, what shape are they?

Are they the same shape as your shoes?  This is not the shape your foot should be or would be if it wasn’t kept in the wrong shoes.

Here’s a foot and the shoe that it usually lives in

Check out the toe box on your shoes, is it narrow, pointy, etc.?

It’s not just ladies shoes that are pointy (left), men’s shoes are often narrow in the toe too

Check out your big toe and little toe, do they turn inwards or are they in line with their metatarsal bones?  See below.

Here you can see the big and little toes are out of alignment with the bone coming down the foot and into the toe, they both angle towards each other

Is the width of the very end of your foot (i.e. your toes) greater than the ball of the foot – which is how it should be!

Toes should be wide apart and wider than the ball of the foot (shown by the horizontal ß—–à above

Take the liner out of your trainers or shoes (if it will come out), and stand on it.  Is the liner bigger than your foot or is your foot bigger than the liner?  If your shoe liner won’t come out, stand on a bit of paper and draw round your foot with your full body weight on it and your toes spread.  Cut this out and check it against the sole or inside of your shoe (not quiet as good as sometimes there’s a lip on the sole of some shoes, which makes the outside look bigger than it actually is inside).  If your foot or the drawing is bigger then your shoes don’t fit.

Check out the toe spring – does the end of your shoe lift up?

Most shoes have a toe spring which means your toes are constantly being held in a lifted position and your foot cannot function properly when you walk.

How flexible is your shoe?  The more flexible the shoe the better your foot can function.

Does your shoe have a heel?  GET RID OF SHOES WITH A HEEL!

In summary preferably you want shoes that interfere with the natural movement of your foot as possible:

  1. Zero drop – no change in height from heel to toe.
  2. Flexible.
  3. No toe spring.
  4. Wide toe box.
  5. Fully attach to your foot.

Ideally you want minimal shoes and go barefoot more often wherever you can.