What makes for a pair of comfortable shoes? The primary purpose of comfortable shoes is to protect your feet and prevent injury. But in order to do so, shoes must fit well. Poorly fitted shoes, shoes that are too narrow, too short or too large can cause discomfort, injury and even permanent deformity. Understanding the components of shoes and proper fit can help you make sensible shoe purchases for yourself and your family. What are the parts of a shoe and how can they affect fit? What are the special considerations related to the most comfortable men’s, women’s, work and athletic shoes?

Although style is often a key consideration in choosing a pair comfortable of shoes, the most important quality to look for in shoes, from a practical standpoint, is durable construction that will protect your feet and keep them comfortable. In selecting the shoes, keep this basic principle of good fit in mind: Your shoes should conform to the shape of your feet; your feet should never be forced to conform to the shape of a pair of shoes. Soreness, blisters, callouses, and, with time, permanent disfigurements can be caused by habitually crowding your feet into shoes that don’t fit well.

The Anatomy of a Comfortable Shoe – Comfortable shoes are composed of different parts. Understanding the basic construction of the most comfortable shoes can help you choose intelligently from among many available styles.

In comfortable shoes the toe box is the tip of the shoe that provides space for the toes. The toe box may be rounded or pointed and will determine the amount of space provided for the toes. In all comfortable shoes the toe box will allow a lot of room, preventing pinching or constriction of the toes.

The vamp is the upper middle part of the shoe where the laces are commonly placed. Sometimes Velcro is used instead of laces. In comfortable shoes the vamp will be one long piece of soft material. The softer the material, the more comfortable the shoe.

The sole of any boot or shoe consists of an insole and an outsole. The insole is inside the shoe; the outsole contacts the ground. Comfortable shoes have a softer sole, with a greater ability to absorb shock.

The heel is the bottom part of the rear of the shoe that provides elevation. The higher the heel, the greater the pressure on the front of the foot. Comfortable shoes tend to have a lower heel.

The last is the part of the shoe that curves in slightly near the arch of the foot to conform to the average foot shape. This curve enables you to tell the right shoe from the left. On occasion, an orthopedic surgeon, in the interests of providing comfortable shoes, may prescribe a shoe that has a straight or reverse last. The last will determine the level of support in every pair of comfortable shoes.

The material from which the shoe is made can affect fit and comfort. In the most comfortable shoes, softer materials decrease the amount of pressure the shoe places on the foot. Stiff materials can cause blisters. A counter may be used to stiffen the material around the heel and give support to the foot.

Recommendations for Comfortable Shoes: –

Comfortable Men’s Shoes – Most men’s comfortable shoes conform to the shape of the feet and have a roomy toe box with sufficient horizontal and vertical space and a low heel (usually about half an inch high). Soles made of hard materials such as leather or soft materials such as crepe can both be worn, but softer soles tend to provide for more comfortable shoes. If you stand for extended periods of time, comfortable men’s shoes will have soft, pliable cushioned soles that will protect your feet and help keep them comfortable.

Comfortable Women’s Shoes – In looking for comfortable women’s shoes, look for shoes with lower heels. High-heeled, pointed-toe shoes can cause numerous orthopedic problems, leading to discomfort or injury to the toes, ankles, knees, calves and back. Most high heeled-shoes are not comfortable shoes – they have a pointed, narrow toe box that crowds the toes and forces them into an unnatural triangular shape. These are not the most comfortable shoes for the wearer. These shoes distribute the body’s weight unevenly, placing excess stress on the ball of the foot and on the forefoot. This uneven distribution of weight, coupled with the narrow toe box characteristic of most high heels, can lead to discomfort, painful bunions, hammertoes. and other deformities. Low-heeled shoes (one inch or lower) with a wide toe box are the ideal choice for the most comfortable women’s shoes. An ample toe box that can accommodate the front part of the foot is as important as the heel in determining fit and will provide the most comfortable experience.

The Most Comfortable Work Shoes – Comfortable men’s and women’s work shoes are also available with varying characteristics, depending on the wearer’s occupation. Comfortable boots and shoes are made of thick leather with steel toe boxes and can be worn to protect the feet from injury. Comfortable boots and shoes with varying degrees of traction or slip resistant soles are also available to protect the wearer form injury.