Most Comfortable Shoes
No matter where your feet take you, you know the importance of getting there comfortably. How do you begin your search for the most comfortable shoes? It really depends upon a few factors – the activity you’ll be doing in the shoes, and any special characteristics of your particular foot. Having this information will help you determine the best and the Most Comfortable Shoes for you.
Most Comfortable Shoes Guide
Not all shoes are created equal – the most comfortable shoes in one setting may be completely wrong for another. Your best hiking boots may protect you on long treks; however, they would be completely inappropriate for a construction site. The best way to find most comfortable shoes is to seek advice tailored to your needs. On this site you will find information on selecting the most comfortable shoes for running, hiking, walking, work, and more.
Basics of Fit
No matter what shoe you need, there are certain basic practices you can employ to make sure you find the most comfortable shoes possible. Despite all the features and extra protection, a shoe won’t serve you well if it is not fitted properly to your foot structure. Here are some tips for finding the best fit:
Know Your Feet – The best way to find most comfortable shoes that fit well (or to make your current shoes more comfortable) is to learn about the shape of your particular foot. Wet your feet and step onto a piece of plain cardboard. Step back, and examine your footprint. The “scoop” in the foot between the ball and heel is called the arch. If there is a deep scoop with only a small amount of contact on the outside of the foot, you have high arches. If the footprint does not have a scoop or appears round, you have flat arches. No matter the construction of your foot, seek out shoes that meet the needs of your particular arch. If you own the shoes already, arch supports and orthotics may help increase the comfort of your footwear.
Shop In Store, Or Plan Well – The ideal way of finding the most comfortable shoes for your needs is to visit a store that specializes in shoes for your desired purpose. Nothing can replace the value of trying the shoes on for yourself and getting a feel for the product before you invest. However, with busy lives this is not always feasible. If you are shopping for shoes online, you can get the best pair for you if you’re willing to invest a little extra time to selection and returns if necessary.
If you intend to shop online, it’s best to pick out several pair of shoes (perhaps three) that you can try on and compare in home. This will allow you to spend a little time assessing each shoe at your convenience. Select the options that work for you, and return the remaining shoes according to the policies of the retailer. Just be sure the seller accepts returns for opened items before attempting to shop using an online source.
Time It Right – Finding the most comfortable shoes may be as simple as timing. Our feet naturally “grow” a small amount over the course of the day, due to both inflammation from use, and water retention. Shop for shoes in the late afternoon, when your feet are most likely to be at their maximum size.
Leave Some Space – One of the most common errors in purchasing new shoes is to try to fit into a shoe you like, rather than finding a shoe that likes you best. As a starting point to selecting a size, measure your feet from the heel of the foot to the tip of your big toe. When you go looking for shoes, you want to find a pair that leaves a small amount of space at the heel (say one eighth of an inch) and at the toe (about one half inch). Also, when you try shoes, make sure you are able to freely move all your toes. You may believe you will break the shoes in, but more likely you’ll be left with shoes that cause you discomfort after a short amount of time.
Walk Around – As busy as the world is, finding the most comfortable shoes for you means taking some time to invest in the process and get to know what you’re buying. Take the time to try the shoes on, take a walk around to make sure you’re getting a pair you’ll love. Check for slipping (which may cause blisters) or any discomfort that arises after you begin moving around in your chosen pair.
Comfortable Shoes By Industry
Business dress shoes have an indelible reputation for being uncomfortable or causing any number of problems such as back-ache, foot pain, tension and blisters. Despite this reputation, it doesn’t have to be this way. Business dress shoes have the potential to be the most comfortable shoes in your closet, provided you know what to look for, or how to augment your current shoes to fit your particular foot structure. Where dress shoes don’t tend to offer specialized support for different types of foot issues, there is always the potential to make adjustments by adding supportive insole additions such as arch supports, specialized cushioning, or orthotics. If you end your day with sore feet, back pain, sore legs or other chronic complaints, adding some specialized support can make all the difference.
When most people think of the most comfortable shoes, sneakers come to mind. Yet, even within the realm of sneakers and athletic-wear, there are a broad range of products meant to serve specific purposes. Many people believe that any sneaker is a running shoe, yet this is simply not the case. Many sneaker-type shoes are only aesthetic in nature – they have some support and breathability, but are not generally recommended for running any extended distance.
Unlike dress sneakers, running shoes are meant to help the runner mitigate the short and long-term effects running inflicts on the body – specifically the feet, knees and back. Running shoes provide support to the heel, arches, and tendons of the foot, in order to encourage neutral motion and prevent running-related injuries such as stress fractures, shin splints, and muscle pulls. Part of the way in which a good pair of running shoes achieves this is by stabilizing a runner’s gait. The best running shoes you can buy do not just provide proper support – they are tailored for use by a particular type of foot. Shopping for a shoe that meets these goals ensures that you will get the most comfortable shoes you can find.
Pronation and Supination
One of the major issues that can be corrected with the proper shoe is to return a runner’s stride to a neutral position. When using a properly fitted running shoe, the runner should feel little to no discomfort. When your stride is pronated (meaning your foot turns out as the foot strikes the ground from the heel and rolls forward to the toes) you may have discomfort or tension in any number of places – feet, hips, lower back or even upper body. The same goes for supination, where the foot rolls inward during this cycle, causing the ankle to sag toward the middle while exercising. If you are unsure of your pronation, it may benefit you to talk to your local running shop. There, a staff member can analyze your stride (either by watching you walk/run in the store or by observing your movement on a treadmill) and can recommend one or more options for shoes that will help bring your foot and ankle into neutral alignment while you run.
Walking shoes and running shoes may share similar features, but they serve very different purposes and therefore are not necessarily interchangeable. Walking is a great, low-impact way to lose weight and gain energy, and to get the most out of it, you’ll want shoes that support you properly. Doing so will allow you to stay injury-free and mobile, which will go a long way to encouraging your new exercise routine.
The value to walking shoes are is subtle difference in construction that assists you in neutralizing your gait at a walking pace. For instance, where running shoes are meant to support the runner and dissipate the extra stresses placed on the skeletal-muscular system caused by repeated impact and increased muscle extension, walking shoes are meant to stabilize the gait and create a natural, minimally augmented motion in the stride. To do this, walking shoes tend to have a lower heel profile than running shoes, since heel strike and roll-through are completely different depending on speed. Also, these shoes tend to have a bit less padding, since impact is more readily mitigated naturally at a walking pace. While many believe in the “more is better” approach, all that padding may unnecessarily hamper your natural gait.
By the same token as running shoes, many people may feel that all hiking boots are created equal; however, to find the most comfortable shoes to keep you moving up the mountain or down the trail, you need to decide what type of hiking you are going to do, and how often (and how long) your hiking journeys will be. Buying the most heavy-duty boot you can find might seem like the wisest idea, but in reality may be adding extra weight to your feet, using a tread that doesn’t work for your activity, or choosing a shoe with a sole that is not flexible enough for the terrain in question. As with running shoes, it is a good idea to see a representative at a store specializing in hiking boots and apparel. With the help of a trained footwear consultant, you can choose shoes well suited to your intended level of activity, and save yourself from unneeded weight and unnecessary discomfort down the road.
Nurses and doctors have on of the most demanding roles in terms of physical labor and endurance. In order to engage in the very physical work of caring for patients and taking care of a nursing floor, these professionals need the most comfortable shoes for long hours on their feet. Beyond the need for comfort, there are certain safety standards that must be met for medical staff in a clinical setting. It is of paramount importance to find the most comfortable shoes that keeps medical staff safe from injury and hazards. There are some shoes on the market specially designed for medical staff, and include features such as anti-bacterial and anti-microbial treatments, and easy-to-wash materials that can be scrubbed down with soap and water in order to reduce the transmission of pathogens.
Hard-working feet need hard-working protection from any number of industrial hazards including chemicals, heavy equipment, and other workplace conditions. Besides keeping feet injury free, industrial workers are often on the worksite for long hours, and need most comfortable shoes to keep their focus on the task. There are many types of industrial work boot, depending on what type of work you do and what kind of support you need. The first type that comes to mind is usually steel-toed boots meant for heavy construction sites; however, there are many types of boots for all manner of work. For workers that spend time in the elements, there are a wide variety of insulated boots available to keep feet warm while on the site. Automotive workers and others who work with chemicals may find oil-resistant boots are the best protection on the job. A little research will help you decide which shoe is right for you.
Waitstaff and line workers have long hours on their feet, and this calls for the most comfortable shoes, not to mention the most slip resistant. The kitchen can be a dangerous place, and so waitstaff and chefs need shoes specifically designed with the demands of their workplace in mind. Many chef shoes, for instance, are made of a closed-cell material which is light, resistant to bacteria from food spillage, and can be washed in temperatures of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit without suffering damage. Some shoes even feature natural cork insoles to keep feet cool and cushioned during long hours standing on the line. For serving staff, there are plentiful options for upscale-looking, non-skid shoes that put the comfort of the user first.