Shoes are so common that it is easy to take them for granted. Need a new pair? Just run down to the big box department store and pick something up. It doesn’t take long to find something that works. But perhaps there is more to it than that. Maybe more thought should go into it. How much thought do you put into buying new shoes?
We wear shoes because our feet are not designed to withstand the punishment of modern society. Yet even before industrialization, people wore shoes to protect their feet against the ravages of nature. In short, shoes are functional first. It would be interesting to know just how many people think of shoes from that perspective.
Shoes and Foot Health
Not connecting one’s overall health with the feet can be forgiven. After all, the feet are the extremities furthest from the brain. It is easy to take them for granted. But foot health is important. Healthy feet are comfortable feet that enable us to walk, run, do daily work, etc. People do not realize just how important foot health is until they can no longer use their feet normally.
In light of that, shoe choices are important as well. They are so important that the U.S. military puts a lot of time and energy into designing new footwear for soldiers. Military boots should be more than rugged. Military leaders want them to offer plenty of support, comfort, and protection against conditions like trench foot.
Shoe-Shopping Tips from Harvard
Shoes are so important to foot health that Harvard University put out a list of shoe-shopping tips in 2015. At the top of the list is tracing your foot on a piece of paper before you start shopping. The idea is to take shoes you might be interested in and place them on top of the tracing. If a pair of shoes is either shorter or narrower, there is no point in trying them on.
Here are some of the other tips Harvard recommended:
- Shop in the afternoon (because your feet expand during the day)
- Have your feet properly measured by a sales professional
- Wear the same kinds of socks you plan to wear with your new shoes
- Consider both width and length, rather than just length alone
- Pay attention to how comfortable shoes are when you first try them on.
There are other tips on Harvard’s list that are included here. Needless to say, the list’s author believes consumers should put a lot of thought into shoe shopping. Choosing the right pair of shoes is not exclusively about what they look like.
Your Footwear Budget
If you already put considerable thought into shoe shopping, is your budget part of the equation? After all, it is easy to spend more than $100 on a quality pair shoes. That kind of investment deserves to be protected. That means understanding what it takes to care for a pair of shoes before you buy them.
GC Tech, a Salt Lake City company that makes slip-on waterproof shoe covers for men, says that basic maintenance and care can help a good pair of shoes last for many years. Like anything else, your shoes will treat you as well as you treat them.
At some point, you are going to have to buy a new pair of shoes. How much thought will you put into it? Will you run down to the department store and buy the first thing that fits, or will you take your time, do some research, and do your best to get it right?