Article by Elizabeth Evans
B. Sc., M. Pthy.. M. SPSc., AEP, AES
Memb: APA, ESSA
Most people buy shoes based on fashion. Here, at the Institute of Sports and Spines we take shoes seriously, we even have a confiscation box!
This quick shoe anatomy lesson will help you choose the right pair of shoes on your next shopping trip.
The UPPER: This is everything above the sole of the shoe. Usually made with several layers of fabrics and mesh that are sewn and or glued together.
What to look for: An upper that is shaped like your foot, is smooth and doesn't cause rubbing.
The Ankle Collar: This is the top of the shoe opening that holds the heel down in place snuggly.
What to look for: Avoid shoes that allow the heel to slip out and those that cause excess rubbing or pressure near the Achilles tendon.
The Saddle: This is the area around the arch between the ball of the foot and the ankle.
What to look for: The arch of your foot should feel comfortable, not being pushed, slipping and falling down. Your foot should feel snug and secure without pressure.
The Toebox: This is the front of the shoe upper that encloses the forefoot and toes
What to look for: A toebox that fits the width of your toes/forefoot. Your foot should bend and spread naturally without pressure or rubbing on the toes, pins and needles is often a sign the toebox is too narrow.
The Heel-Toe Drop: This is the difference in height between your heel and the ball of your foot. Changing the foot drop drastically can contribute to injuries and alter your stride in walking and running.
What to look for: A shoe that feels right when walking or jogging.
Other tips include:
You may think you know your size, but it’s best to get your feet measured each time you buy new shoes.
When you go shopping, take along the socks you intend to use to find a great fit.