You need to have more than style on your mind when shopping for new shoes. You’ll also need to consider how the shoe you buy can help keep your feet in good condition. These 10 tips can help you select the right shoes.

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  1. Make a tracing of your foot and take it with you. Place any show you intend to buy on the tracing. If the shoe is shorter or narrower than the tracing, it’s not even worth trying it on.
  1. Go shoe shopping in the afternoon. During this time of day you foot naturally expands. This can improve the chances of buying the right size.
  1. Wear the type of socks you normally wear to the shoe store. This will help ensure a comfortable fit.
  1. Have both feet measured by the salesman. And, get your feet measured each time you buy shoes. Your foot can change with age. You may be a larger size or a wider width. Also, one of your feet may be larger than the other, so buy your shoes to fit the larger foot.
  1. When trying on shoes, stand and gently press the top of the shoe. You want to have a half-inch space between the end of the shoe and your longest toe. This will give you foot room to move and press forward as you walk. You should also be able to wiggle your toes in the shoe. If not, there’s not enough room.
  1. Walk around the store in the shoes to determine if they’re comfortable. There should be room at the balls of the feet and the heels should fit snugly. The shoe should not fall off or pinch. If the shoe does not feel right, do not believe that the shoe can be “broken in”. Look for a shoe that fits from the beginning.
  1. Trust your comfort level. You can’t always depend on the shoe’s size or description. The size can vary based on the manufacturer. And only you can judge whether or not a shoe is comfortable, despite what the advertisers claim.

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  1. Length is just as important as width. If the ball of your foot feels compressed, ask for a wider width. Buying a shoe that’s longer, by a half or full size, will not always solve this problem.
  1. Feel inside the shoe. Are there any seams, tags or material that can irritate your foot? Here are some good tips on shoe style and other details.
  1. Look at the shoe’s soles. Will they be able to protect your feet from sharp objects? Is there any cushioning provided? Note how I feel when you walk around the store. Try walking on both hard floors and soft carpeted surfaces in order to see how the shoe feels on both.