Like everything in life there is an art and a science to success. This is very, very true when getting the best results from shoe shopping. This shoe shopping guide was developed from over a quarter century of daily research to make shoe shopping easier and more successful!
Do An Inventory
Most people just run in to replace the pair of shoes that have a hole in the bottom and the conversation notoriously leads to what other shoes they may need or are equally destroyed and then they can’t remember. Take a few minutes and do an inventory of the shoes you would like to wear over the next 6 months. This is particularly important right now with supply chain disruptions which can lead to your most needed footwear being out for months.
- Check your orthotics. Are they worn out as well and if so how many do you need? Over the counter orthotics last the life of your most heavily worn shoe.
- Check your socks. Are your socks worn out from last year? What are your favorites? What colors do you need? Six pairs of compression socks worn fived days a week for a year need to be replaced. It is the same for cushioned socks.
- Spring Checklist: What sandals from last season are worn out? What colors do you need? Are your mesh walking shoes worn out? Dress sandals?
- Did you get a Pedicure to try on sandals? Of course it makes no difference to us, but if it will keep you from trying sandals go get the piggies done.
- Fall Checklist: How badly beaten are your winter boots? Slippers? Hikers? Winter weight socks? Fashion booties? Dress shoes?
- In-House checklist: If you have chronic foot problems supportive footwear is part of the solution. Do your in-house shoes give you the support of your outdoor shoes? If not, up your game.
Always Bring the socks you want to wear with the shoes you want to buy.
If you need peds, we have those in the store. What is most important is to bring the right socks for your walking shoes. If you wear different socks for hikers you want those as well.
Are you going to wear regular socks or trouser socks with your slip ons? This one is huge! Your sock choice affects the fit of your shoe. Know which type of sock you want to wear especially if you have a hard time holding on slip ons. The answer is never both. It will only work one way.
Present the shoe you want to replace:
This is helpful for first time shoppers.
You want another pair of that fantastic shoe you have had since the Berlin Wall fell? Make sure you bring it to the store! Trying to describe what you want rarely does your beloved pair of shoes justice, a picture is worth a thousand words but the actual shoe tells the whole story.
If you want the same shoe and we carry the brand and it’s still made we will either have it or can get it.
If the shoe has long been discontinued, by having the product in front of us we can better judge what will fit, feel and look similar there by giving you another pair of shoes you will love until there are flying cars.
Get your feet measured:
The average shoe size is up about two sizes since the 1970’s according to a study released from the College of Podiatry in the UK. This is just another reason to make sure that you get your feet measured regularly.
Yes! Your feet do get longer when you have children.
Yes! Your feet do get longer and the front of the feet widen as you get older. To make it even trickier as the front of your foot changes in width due to relaxing of the muscles and tendons, hammer toes, or bunions — your heel stays the same size so heel slippage is a bigger issue!
Yes, fit does become more difficult with each passing year, in addition, the fatty tissue of your feet is also breaking down over time so you need the next level of protection great shoes provide.
The tricks when you are shopping for others:
The first trick to shopping for others is to bring them to the store. Even if it is very difficult, even if it takes all day, even if wheelchairs, caregivers and siblings are involved to get them here the most successful way to get the right fit is to have them in the store. There is absolutely no substitute for having the feet to experience our 15,000 items rather than trying to do it the other way around.
Now let’s assume it is beyond difficult and truly impossible to bring your loved one to the store.
Here are tricks to getting the best fit:
- Get the size off the shoe that feels best to them or off the box that the shoes came in.
- Take a picture of the shoe you want to replace and take a picture of the box it came in if possible.
- Take a picture of the feet from the front, side and a three quarter shot. This will give us an idea of what the issues are and how to best rectify the situation.