Ever wondered why some of your friends can pull off walking in heels and yet you can’t? Or why some peoples shoes seem to last for years and yet yours barely make the end of the season? Or even why some get on better with lace ups while others prefer slip-ons? Well the answer is all in your feet!

Not everybody’s feet are the same and the trick is learning which shoe style best suits your foot type.  A flatter or rolled in foot tends to place more stress on the soft tissue structures on the inner side of the foot; it also tends to be more flexible and less stable which can cause aches and pains further up the body. People with these foot types tend to wear the soles of their shoes down more quickly, especially under the balls of their feet. A rolled in, flatter foot is definitely better in a supportive lace up or strap shoe with a contoured insole to hold the foot in a better position.

The Maine and Indiana designs by Strive Footwear are excellent examples of the style of shoe which are great for flatter feet.

On the other hand (or should we say foot….) a high arched foot tends to place more stress on the soft tissue structures on the outer side of the foot; it’s also more rigid which means that it absorbs less shock. This lack of shock absorption can mean that impact forces from walking are transferred up the leg. The best type of shoe for these feet is a design with arch support and a good thick sole to absorb shock – definitely not a pair of thin leather soled classic Italian slip ons!

Narrow feet also tend to fit better in footwear with an adjustable fastening, such laces or a Velcro strap, in order to prevent slippage, rubbing and blisters. It can sometimes be hard to find comfortable shoes for narrower feet but the Idaho by Strive Footwear is a perfect choice because when fastened tightly, they hold well to narrower feet.

Believe it or not sometimes even heels are best for some types of feet. If you suffer from tight calf muscles or your forefoot is lower than your heel (think Barbie Doll’s feet), a heeled shoe will definitely be more comfortable and more supportive. That said, we mean a bit of a heel as opposed to a flat dolly style shoe and definitely not a pair of 6 inch stilettos!

A lot also depends on what activities you do. If you walk a lot then a supportive lace up shoe with a shock absorbing sole will suit you much better than a slip on style. If you spend most of your day sat in an office, you can probably get away with less suitable fashion footwear. However, be mindful to change to a more appropriate shoe if you are walking to and from work – try the Florida by Strive Footwear for a comfortable sports style shoe which emulates this season’s style.

Once you’ve established your foot type, activity levels and best shoe design, it doesn’t stop there! Shoe fit is just as important as shoe style when it comes to all day comfort. Follow our 6 easy steps to great fitting shoes:

  • - Get your feet measured.  Your foot size and shape can change over time so may not be the same as it was 10 years ago. Weight gain and pregnancy can also affect foot size so get them measured about once a year.
  • - Get measured at the end of the day as your feet will often swell and expand the longer you’ve been on them.
  • - Many people have one foot slightly larger than the other so get both feet measured and buy shoes to fit the larger foot.
  • - The widest part of your foot (just before your toes start) should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe without rubbing.
  • - The toe box of the shoe should be deep enough and not rub the tops of your toes. If you have hammer toes, you may need to choose a style with a deeper toe box.
  • - Make sure you stand up and walk around. Your shoes should be comfortable to walk in and there should be about 1cm between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

Remember, your shoes should always feel as great as they look!