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Shopping for Athletic Shoes: You’re More Than an Arch Type

What is the best way to pick the right athletic shoe? The answer may surprise you. While you can Google this question, read mountains of articles, and even ask friends for recommendations, the best answers will always come from your foot specialist.

Your feet are as unique as you are, and your entire physical makeup factors into your optimal shoe type. Most tips and tricks for choosing athletic shoes are generalized and based upon arch type. At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, we understand that there’s more to your feet than the arch.

The Wet Test: The Beginning Not the Ending

If you have ever read a blog or newspaper article about shopping for athletic shoes, you are likely familiar with the wet test. Conducting this simple, at-home evaluation will give you an idea of your arch type. After wetting your foot and standing on a paper bag, you will see the tell-tale outline of your foot. Typically categorized as high, neutral, or flat, the arch of the foot is just one indicator of the kind of footwear that will provide the best support for you. However, it is not the whole story. That’s where the Austin experts in podiatry can add a critical plot twist.

There’s More to the Story of Your Feet

Your medical history, previous injuries, age, current foot conditions, diseases, deformities, weight, and activity level all play a role in determining the best footwear for your foundation. That’s why we take the time to learn as much as we can about your overall health. Don’t forget to tell us about previous injuries you have incurred while running. The more we know, the better we can serve you.

An evaluation of your medical history, your feet, and your gait all add up to a great shoe recommendation. Learn what variation of support, motion control, and stabilizing features are right for you. We will also measure your feet! Dr. Craig H. Thomajan DPM, FACFAS and Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS may also recommend custom orthotics or other types of devices to give you the perfect feel and fit.

The Happily Ever After of Shopping for Athletic Shoes

Take your newfound knowledge on your shoe shopping trip, and you’re sure to have a “Happily Ever After” experience. Shop toward the end of the day to accommodate normal swelling, understand that manufacturer sizing varies, and always allow extra room at the end of your shoes (at least half a size). If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it out of the store. Take your time, and don’t be shy about trying on multiple styles at your favorite specialty shoe store.

As you age, your feet change in size, shape, and condition. Visit our office regularly to ensure continued success with your shoes. Bring your old footwear to your next appointment and we’ll help you determine if you need to make adjustments for their future replacements. If foot pain has kept you from your active lifestyle, call us today at (512) 328-8900 or request an appointment online. A happy ending, for your feet, is sure to follow!

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Dr. Shine John, DPM, FACFAS
Podiatric Physician, Surgeon, Specialist at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists