How to Buy Shoes That Fit Perfectly (And Painlessly)

how to buy shoes
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One of the biggest fashion statements you’ll make with any outfit lies in the shoes you choose to wear.

They tie the rest of the look together and show off your personality simultaneously.

Thankfully, they come in many different shapes, colors, styles, and brands to be able to capture that. However, those different aspects also mean that each shoe fits differently on your foot.

It’s crucial that you be diligent enough to find the shoe size that fits perfectly and avoid causing health issues later on.

Here are tips on how to buy shoes that fit your feet the way they were intended to.

1. Know Your General Size

As previously mentioned, every shoe brand and style is going to fit your foot differently.

A size 9.5 in Nikes won’t be the same as a size 9.5 in Adidas shoes. Not only are the styles dissimilar, but these brands are also notorious for running bigger or smaller than the size they imply.

The same thing goes for leather sneakers women wear and their sizes. They’ll fit a bit differently depending on the style you go for.

Because of that, it can be tough to know where to start. Especially when purchasing a shoe for the very first time.

To get things started, have a rough idea of the size that fits you most often. Ask for that size in any shoe you’re interested in buying and then gauge whether you need a larger or smaller size from there.

Some shoes, such as Converse shoes, will have sizing that’s way different from your normal size. Don’t get frustrated, just try several pairs until you find the right fit.

2. Always Try Shoes on In-Store

This day in age you have two major ways to purchase the shoes that you want: online or in-store.

Doing so online can get you access to a cheaper price and more selection on different styles and colors.

Regardless of which route you choose to purchase, you never want to buy a pair of shoes without first trying it on (or a similar pair) in a store.

While most sites will have solid return policies, that can be a major headache to try and find the right pair. Meanwhile, if you try it on in-store, you can then buy that size online with confidence that it will fit perfectly.

3. Shop During the Afternoon

This one may seem a bit weird, but there’s a method to the madness. While shopping in the morning may help you beat the weekend rush, it can also lead to inaccurate shoe size.

Many people don’t realize that, over the course of the day, your feet swell up.

That’s not a cause for concern. It’s just a natural occurrence that happens after several hours of walking. You have nothing to worry about health-wise.

However, because they swell up as you walk, you’ll want to try shoes on while they’re swollen up. Trying on shoes in the morning can lead to buying a pair that are too tight when your feet swell up. That will lead to major discomfort.

You’ll want to find that “Goldilocks” sweet spot: not too loose on your feet, not too tight… but just the right fit.

4. Find Your Foot Strike

One thing that many people have no knowledge of is their feet’s strike. In other words: they don’t know the natural way their foot is structured.

Most people can identify whether they have flat feet or high arches. While those are certainly crucial to know, they aren’t the only piece of vital information in your foot’s layout.

Everybody’s feet either have pronation, supination, or a neutral foot strike. Knowing which one you are can help you make the right decision on shoe types for your respective feet.

What’re the differences between the three? See below for a brief synopsis and the injuries that they can lead to if you choose to ignore them.


Pronation refers to the way your foot’s arch reacts when you walk or run.

Those that pronate have the arch’s in their feet land flat. That naturally causes your ankle and foot to roll inward.

If you’re not using the proper footwear for it, this can lead to severe shin splints and other injuries such as rolling your ankle.


Those that have a supination deal with the opposite problem of those that pronate.

Supination refers to feet that have extremely high arches and don’t flatten on the ground when your foot strikes. Since it doesn’t make contact with the ground, there’s no way to absorb the shock upon impact.

Much like pronation, supination can lead to things such as ankle sprains, as well as more severe injuries like plantar fasciitis.


A neutral foot strike means exactly what you would expect it to: it’s the foot strike that doesn’t pronate or supinate.

This leads to a lesser amount of foot and ankle injuries. It also means less wear and tear on the feet throughout the years.

If you were born with one of the other two, you just need to pay proper attention to them in the form of proper shoes and insoles for your feet.

How to Buy Shoes That Fit: Be Diligent and Patient

The proper mentality on how to buy shoes is being prepared to wait for the right shoe size to come around.

The store you go to may not have your size in stock, so you can either buy it online or wait it out to purchase in-store down the line.

Be sure to read our other articles that pertain to both this topic and other topics that are just like it.

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