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Written by our Canadian Certified Pedorthist

Shoe Fitting is Key

You have a foot size, not a shoe size.

It may be tempting to choose the prettiest shoe of the bunch but it’s important to focus on fit and support, especially if orthotics are going inside. Below are 3 ways to test out your shoes.

1. Supportive Shoe Test

  • Heel Counter: With the thumb and index finger, squeeze the sides of heel counter together. An ideal heel counter will resist deforming.

  • Torsional Stability: Hold the toe of the shoe in one hand and the heel of the shoe in the other. Twist the shoe like you are wringing out a rag. Twisting the shoe should be difficult.

  • Bend Test: Hold either end of the shoe in each hand. Bring the heel and toe together to form an ‘O’ with the shoe. The shoe should bend only across the ball with mild resistance.

2. Good Fit Test

  • When standing, you should have approximately a thumbnail’s width from the end of the longest toe to the end of the shoe.

  • Shoes should feel comfortable at the first fitting, don’t hope to “break them in”.

  • Adjustable closures (ie, laces or Velcro) will allow a better fit than slip-ons which are less accommodating.

3. When to Replace Your Shoes Test

  • Place the shoe on a flat surface and inspect the heel counter. It should be at a right angle to the flat surface. If not, shoe replacement is required.

  • Inspect the cushioning (midsole) layer of the shoe for lines and/or creases. These are a sign the materials have worn out.

  • Inspect the outsole of the shoe for noticeable wear which can influence shoe traction and foot positioning.

4. Choosing a Shoe Retailer

Choose a shoe retailer with knowledgeable staff to assist you in finding suitable footwear and lacing tips. Below are a few we suggest.


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