Poorly fitting shoes are painful and can promote foot problems. To make sure new shoes fit properly, follow this advice from the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, the National Shoe Retailers Assn. and the Pedorthic Footwear Assn.:
* Sizes vary among brands and styles. Judge the shoe by how it fits your foot, not by the size marked on the box.
* Select a shoe that conforms as nearly as possible to the shape of your foot.
* Have your feet measured regularly. Foot size changes as you grow older.
* One foot is usually bigger than the other. Measure both, and fit shoes to the larger foot.
* Fit shoes at the end of the day when your feet are largest.
* Stand up and check that there is at least three-eighths to half an inch of space in the shoe beyond your longest toe.
* Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
* Don't buy shoes that feel tight, expecting them to stretch.
* Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with minimum slippage.
* Walk in the shoe to make sure it feels comfortable.