Key Feature #1 Avoid a tight shoe
With the onset of the athleisure style shoes, it is clear the footwear industry has finally changed its habit of demanding that women wear tight shoes with narrow toe boxes. Research has shown that tight or ill-fitted footwear can lead to tripping hazards and a host of other insults. Women’s shoes have evolved to have shorter heels and a wider base. These changes have had a positive impact on comfort and fit.
“The two main problems with people’s footwear are poor fit and heel elevation,” says Hylton Menz, Podiatrist, and Professor of Biomechanics.
When you’re looking for a shoe, seek a shoe that avoids a tight fit anywhere. Toes should have their own freedom. If they’re pinched or squished, look at a different size or a different style. Another place many Pandere customers find challenging is in fit through the midfoot. If you are able to get a shoe on in the morning, and by the end of the day, the shoes are exacerbating swelling over the course of the day, look for a different shoe.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research reports, “Between 63 and 72% of participants were wearing shoes that did not accommodate either width or length dimensions of their feet.” The authors concluded, “A large proportion of the population wear incorrectly sized footwear, which is associated with foot pain and foot disorders.”
Pandere Founder Laura Oden says, “When I am sizing someone based on foot measurements, I want to have somewhere in the neighborhood of ½ inch of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Some people can tolerate a little more than that, and of course, there are some that don’t want that much space at the end of the shoe. At the end of the day, there is an enormous amount of variability in what an individual determines as comfortable. There is no substitute for trying on the shoes, walking around your house for a few hours, and getting a good feel for whether the shoes will work or not.”