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  • Writer's pictureBarbara J MacFarlane, MD

Shoe Crazy.

There is nothing like comfortable shoes. There is also nothing like a well-dressed person with quality expensive shoes.

Shoes say a lot about you.

A man's shoe quality apparently says a lot about the man. Often a well-dressed man has the most expensive item he is wearing to be the shoes. Many of us grew up with our parents or grandparents saying you can tell a person by their shoes. What you can tell is what they value. High quality expensive shoes that fit well signal a person who values quality and invests in things that make their every day better. Shoes that are kept shined with polish and have sole maintence done when needed denote a person who cares about and values what they have.

Shoes really affect your day.

Shoes should be comfortable from the time you put them on until the time you take them off. Never wear shoes that hurt your feet, rub or give you blisters. It is best to know your exact shoe size and what brands fit best and stick with those. Brand loyalty is not only beneficial, it helps you to feel like you are living well. Find a shoe store that still measures feet appropriately with the Brannock foot-measuring device and then find out your proper size. Most people wear shoes that are too small and either too wide or too narrow than the proper size. A shoe should be at least 1 - 1.25 cm (3/8 -1/2 inch) longer than your longest toe (often your second toe) and the heel should fit snug and not lift or rub when you walk. Once your know your size, find a few brands that fit your foot perfectly and stick with those. Just like clothes, shoes fit differently between brands for the same size. For me, the right fit is Clarks shoe size 8.5 N US or Naturalizer 8.5 2A(N) US. Sometimes having only specific brands feels like it limits me but not really. It actually gives me the freedom from choice overload! Something very important with living well.

Online solution.

Knowing my size, I can order online and have shoes often at half the usual price at my doorstep within a few days. A quick search online will show you that you have many places to buy your favorite brand and size. Be on the lookout for discounted prices for your size and be laser-focused in only ordering the very specific brand and size!

Have a basic selection for everyday use.

Built your basic shoe wardrobe of shoes. This should include good selection of shoes for what you do most days. For me it is working with a lot of walking in the day and then athletic activities in my spare time. A basic core of my shoe wardrobe is flats and booties. With these shoes, there can be a variety of style of clothes that go well with the shoes. Plus the shoes are always comfortable.

Make your shoe wardrobe with basic colors.

Fun shoes that are a unique color or design always have their place but the core of your shoe wardrobe should be basic black, navy, brown, burgundy or grey. Pick three colors and work with those choosing some booties, flats and medium heels. With these, you will be set for any style of outfit casual to quite dressy any day.

Be brand sepcific for athletic shoes.

Similar to your basic shoe wardrobe, find althletic shoes that fit you perfectly and stick with that brand and size.

I only wear Asics running shoes size 9 US and New Balance 8.5 2A US tennis shoes. For both I replace the manufacture insole with Dr Scholl's Active Series insoles - the more firm support in the middle of the foot just feels more comfortable for me. For athletic shoes, fit is so very important. Shoes that fit well allow you to do your sport day after day. Again, as in dress shoes, it is important to be sized appropriately. For running, it is also important to know whether you have a high stiff arch or if you pronate and whether you need flexibility in a shoe or cushioning. A running store that specializes in shoes can help you with your proper size and qualities needed in a shoe. Once you know that, then you can use you brand loyalty and order online.

Shoes do define how you will feel each day. Limit your choices to a set brand and size. Then be very focused in your search in getting only what you need. It will simplify shoe buying and make your life more enjoyable. You will feel like you are living well.



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