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Shoe Shoppers : Size Does Matter

The stars of “Sex and the City” made the world safe for shoe lovers everywhere with their unapologetic obsession with famous footwear designers like Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik. So if you follow in their footsteps, foot-care experts say you should make sure to get your feet measured before buying your next pair.

A survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association found that 66 percent of Americans do not have their feet measured when purchasing new shoes. In fact, 34 percent said they have not had their feet measured in more than five years, and 6 percent admitted they last had their feet measured more than 30 years ago.

Every day, we put a tremendous amount of pressure on our feet, with an average day of walking bringing a force equal to several hundred tons upon them. Additionally, our feet are open to more injury than any other part of the body.

Even if your feet are not giving you any trouble now, you should still consider comfort and fit when purchasing shoes. Here are some shoe-shopping tips from APMA.

* Shop in the afternoon because your feet tend to swell during the day and it’s best to find the right fit for them then.

* Have your feet measured while standing up.

* Don’t succumb to the myth that shoes need to be “broken in.” They should feel comfortable and be easy to walk in immediately.

* Always try on both shoes and walk around the store.

* Be sure the shoes fit well in the front, back and sides. Buy shoes that don’t pinch your toes.

* Because manufacturers’ sizes vary, don’t rely on the size of your last pair of shoes.

* Try on shoes with the same type of sock or stocking you plan to wear with the shoes.

It’s equally as important for children to have their feet measured as it is for adults. It may be necessary to change shoe and sock sizes every few months to allow room for your child’s feet to grow. Never “hand down” footwear from one child to the next.

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