Ask a Podiatrist… How to choose supportive footwear

Our clients often ask what they need to look for when selecting supportive and comfort footwear. We gathered these top tips from our podiatrists to make choosing supportive footwear easy. 

  • Functional fasteners: Laces, Velcro or ankle straps, something that holds the shoe onto the foot.  If you can take your shoe on and off without undoing a fastener the shoe will not be able to offer good support and is likely to be too tight around the toes to stay on.
  • A firm heel counter: This is the back of the shoe that wraps around your heel. This should be firm and should not collapse inwards when you press against it.  A firm heel counter helps control your foot, rolling in and out and functional fasteners help hold your foot back into the heel counter so that it can do its job. A heel counter also helps prevent heels from cracking.
  • Stiff sole: A shoe should only bend where the foot bends. Pick up the shoe and bend it. It should bend at the ball of the foot, if it bends further back look for another shoe, especially if you have a history of Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Low broad heel: A heel height of around 2.5cm with a large surface area is ideal for everyday wear.
  • The fit of the shoe. Stand up in the shoe and measure the distance between the longest toe and the end of the shoe.  There should be a space of around a thumbs width between the two.  Also keep in mind the depth and width of the shoe around the toes, it needs to be deep and wide enough to fit your toes without creating pressure (ensure prevention of possible corns or blisters in the future).