If you’re buying shoes for a particular activity or leisure pursuit – like some serious walking or playing sport – or you need special shoes for work, there are some things you should take into account.

Work

The working foot is rarely at rest, sometimes covering as much as 15 miles a day. If you're on your feet a lot, well-fitting, comfortable shoes with durable, fliexible, amn-made soles are best. think about your working condidtions too. Wet, cold, indoors, outdoors: they should all be taken into account when you're buying shoes for work.

Walking

Good walking shoes should leave a gap of up to 12mm between the tip of your big toe and the end of your shoe. To avoid rubbing and possible problems with corns, they should be wide enough to all ow your toes to move freely and deep enough to allow your toes to move freely and deep enough to prevent them from pressing against the upper part of the shoe

Leather uppers are notonly hard-wearing, but will mould well to the shape of your foot - allowing feet to breathe and helping them to keep cool and reduce sweating. Lace-up fastenings are best, keeping your heel firmly in place, stopping your foot from slipping.

Exercise

Whether it’s walking the dog or a five mile jog, it’s easy to forget the toll that exercise can take on your feet. Making sure you wear the right shoes for an activity will help enhance your performance, while reducing the risk of injuries and common complaints like corns and calluses. If you’re playing a particular sport always make sure you choose the right footwear for that activity.

High heels

Most women have at least one pair of high heels in their wardrobe, but you can have too much of a good thing. Walking everyday in heels for more than six months without a break can cause the calf muscle to become permanently shortened, which in turn can adversely affect the knees, hips or back.

To avoid this, try not to wear heels for long periods, or ideally save them for special occasions. For everyday wear stick to heels that are no more than 4cm high or alternate the height of heels you wear from day to day.

Calf stretches can also help by keeping your feet supple. Stand facing a wall with your feet hip-width apart and slightly bent at the knee. Take one step forwards, and using your arms to lean against the wall, keep your leg in front bent and the leg behind straight. Both feet should be flat on the ground. Lean in towards the wall. As you do, you should feel your muscles stretching in your calf and heel. Hold and slowly return to a standing position. Do this five times with each leg.


Use the links below to learn more about looking after your feet: