We’ve all been there. We’ve scoured the mall to find the perfect shoes that do not only fit but also make our feet look glamorous only to find ourselves back in the same shoe section the following week for another round of shopping.

Indeed, the search for the perfect pair never stops.

It’s no wonder more and more styles and brand are entering the scene--hoping to infiltrate majority of the enthusiastic consumer market. Some styles quickly become the next new hot trend while others seem to share little of the limelight.

But the real challenge for consumers is this: with the thousands and thousands of shoes to choose from, how can someone succeed in finding the perfect pair?

Sounds like a huge dilemma but it’s nothing that we can’t solve with enough deliberation.

To kick off, we want to set your expectations on the discussion that will follow.

First, we have to consider the general guidelines for finding the best shoes for you. Be it style, fit, and comfort--you have to know which are the real deal-breakers and which ones you can live with.

The next part will be more in depth and specific; the right type for the desired occasion.

Afterall, you can’t wear heels at a sports game, can you?

General Guidelines to Consider

comfort

Your outfit will not be complete without first finding a matching pair. But while aesthetics seem like the most important thing to consider, we suggest you look at the comfort level your pair can offer as well.

There are a number of features which can boosts the comfort level of any shoes. For example, insole, midsole and outsole are all known for their ability to provide additional cushion and comfort with your every step. As the name suggests, the insole mainly targets to support the foot and arch while midsoles are more of shock absorbent. Meanwhile, outsoles are focused on maintaining traction for everyday use.

The heel should be no greater than 4 cm and should come with a heel counter which help stabilize the foot during contact to the ground. Also ensure that the toe box provides enough space for your toes to at least wiggle inside the shoe.

Other great features you can look for are the Achilles notch which minimizes the strain on the tendon, ankle collar for better protection and the toe box effective in preventing calluses.

But since there is no perfect world when it comes to selection, we have to move on to guideline number 2. Sure, not every pair can promise maximum comfort but at least we can bet you’ll find the right size for you.

perfect-fit

This is definitely a given. If the shoe doesn’t fit, then you might as well end the whole decision-making process.

Here’s a great tip: your feet tend to swell a little during the day so it’s better to schedule your shopping at night. At this time, your feet are at its right size so you’re sure to find the shoes that fits you perfectly and won’t give you a hard time during daytime use.

And in case you’re part of the population whose one foot is larger than the other, you can also consider trying on two sizes and check which one works best for you. We suggest you buy the larger size and just find in-soles to secure your smaller foot in.

You should also consider the width and length of your feet. Everyone probably has their fair share of shoe mishaps from the past and most of this are due to shoes that are either too wide or too narrow for their size.

To avoid excruciating pain from blisters and ugly calluses, you should keep in mind that if you want narrow-shaped shoes, you better opt for a larger size and lower heels as well.

You have to identify your feet’s arch type too.

Arch type pertains to the alignment of bones and muscles that form your feet. Your feet may either be neutral-arched, low-arched, or high-arched.

Neutral-arched feet are technically in the middle--neither overly arched nor flat. If you think you fall under this category, then look for shoes with stable midsoles and straight to semi-curved design.
Flat-footed people usually suffer from muscle stress and joint problem so to avoid this, it’s best to find straight shape or design and a motion control feature for better stability.

While for high-arched feet, we highly suggest that you look for shoes you can equip with proper cushioning like curved shaped shoes. The main goal here is to compensate for the lack of shock absorption natural to the feet.

And if you’re just really unsure about your type, you can try bringing an old pair with you the next time you shop and ask for expert’s opinion when choosing the best the shoes that fit your profile.

preference

Don’t be surprised that your personal style and preference are included in the general guidelines on shopping. Because while these factors do not directly cater to the needs of your feet, knowing what works for you and which shoes fit your wardrobe can help you zero in on a perfect pair just as easily.

So if you’re more of laid back person, who's more inclined to wear casual dresses on any day, try investing more on sneakers for daily use and several sandals and flats that fit your style. To take it up a notch, you can wear heels and oxfords for more formal occasions.

The key is to invest more in various pairs that you can use daily and find a perfect and reliable pair that you can use on rare occasions where you need to dress up a little.

Remember: no impulse buying. Buy footwear you would actually use. This technique will not only save you a lot of money but plenty of wardrobe space as well.

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