What Do I look For In A Shoe?

Let’s face it: shoes are what’s between you and the ground for hours every day.

The most common types of shoes patients ask about include joggers, high heels, work shoes, thongs, and slides.


What makes a good jogger?

A fasting mechanism that holds your foot securely in the shoe. This could be lacing, lacing with a zip, elastic, or Velcro.

Support for your midfoot. When you bend the shoe, you want the crease to be at the ball of the foot, not in the middle of the shoe. This means the shoe is giving you more support through your arch.

A firm heel counter. When you press on the heel of the shoe, it should not collapse easily. A firm heel counter provides additional support for the rearfoot.

Great brands for joggers and sneakers include Brooks, New Balance, Hoka, Asics, and Ascent.

Some brands for women’s fashion joggers include Frankie4, Bared, and Ecco.


What should I look for in a high heel?

We all know high heels are not great for your feet. They place excessive pressure through the ball of the foot, overwork your calf muscles and shorten your Achilles. But, if you must wear them you should look for:

A strap around the heel that fastens you into the shoe. Your foot does not have to work as hard to hold you in the shoe if it is strapped in firmly.

A shoe that is wide enough. Fitting your feet into narrow shoes is painful and often is the cause of bunions in later life as the bones shift to match the width.

A wide high heel. Whilst stilettos look great, the wider the heel is the more surface area you have on the ground. This decreases pressure through the heel and increases your stability.

A lower heel. It’s simple – the lower the heel, the lower the pressures being placed through your feet.

Some great brands for women’s heels include Frankie4, Bared, and Ecco.


What about work shoes?

Work shoes must be worn often for 40 hours or more a week, so they need to be comfortable.

Often men’s work shoes have a narrow toe and limited fastening. Try to look for shoes that are wide at the toe and fasten with laces. Boots are also great as they give ankle support. This will give your feet better support and more space, giving more comfort for long days in your work shoes.

Women’s work shoes can vary from heels to loafers to ballet flats. The best shoes are ones that fasten firmly to the foot – think straps or laces. If the shoe has a heel, a low wide heel is best.

Work boots are mostly provided via your employer and have strict guidelines for their safety features. They should be wide enough to not feel tight and fastened with laces or a mix of laces and a zip.

Let’s talk slides and thongs!

Whilst slip-on shoes provide less support than enclosed shoes, slides and thongs are often great for different reasons. They are cool to wear in Summer, great for wearing around water, and can give relief from sore heels or toes by giving the foot more room. When buying thongs and slides, arch support is very important. More and more thongs and slides are coming on to the market with inbuilt arch support.

Great brands for both men and women include OOFOS, Archies, Ascent and Bared.


Ask your podiatrist for shoe recommendations that meet your work and lifestyle needs.

If you are having foot pain, it often requires more than just new shoes to address it. Call or book online here today to have your pain treated – no referral needed!

Erin Ritchie


Biomechanical Assessment