You may be wearing incorrectly fitted shoes and simply not be aware of this. Whatever the circumstance, here is how you can help to ensure your shoes fit correctly.


How do you know if your shoes fit
correctly? Here are some tips to help ensure your shoes fit

  • Are you in pain? Pain is the most obvious signal that your shoes are ill-fitting – does taking your shoes off give you relief?This is your biggest clue!
  • Is there enough space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe? Look for around 1.5 centimetres of space ideally. Remember, your big toe may not always be your longest toe.
  • Have you tested a range of surfaces? Check how your shoes move with your feet when walking on carpet, tiled areas or other surfaces – your heels shouldn’t move inside your shoes on any surface.
  • Have you looked at the widest part of the shoe? This should match where the ball of your foot sits, that is, the widest part just before your toes.
  • Have you had your feet measured by a professional? Ideally have your feet measured before buying shoes – preferably at the end of the day, as this is when your feet are at their largest.

What ailments can be caused by incorrectly fitted shoes?

  • Plantar fasciitis – you may experience a deep ache or shooting pain in the heel if you have plantar fasciitis.
  • Bunions – can present as a swelling or deformity of the first joint of the big toe.
  • Blisters – can be caused by a range of reasons, but a friction blister is usually caused by tight shoes that create irritation through the foot rubbing against the shoe.
  • Metatarsalgia – this condition is when the ball of the foot becomes so inflamed it can be unbearable to stand or walk.
  • Corns and calluses – can be caused by continuous friction between the foot and the shoe, which can be avoided by wearing correctly fitted shoes.

Where can you go to get shoes fitted correctly?

A podiatrist can assess whether your current shoes fit correctly and make recommendations if not. It’s a good idea to be professionally
measured and fitted before buying any shoes.

Incorrectly fitted shoes patient information
An APodA member resource © Australian Podiatry Association 2023