• Sizes aren’t the same for all brands of shoes.

Different designers will have different sizes for the same number. European shoes are often narrower in the front. Dr. Hoorfar suggests trying on a half size larger or smaller than your regular size. She also says shop for shoes later in the day when your feet might be a bit larger from swelling. Get measured yearly. Feet can flatten and widen as you get older, are pregnant, or gain weight.

  • Beware of heavy shoes.

It takes a lot of effort to walk in them. Your feet get tired and will tend to roll in, giving you painful side effects.

  • Flexible shoe materials are what you get.

Dr. Hoorfar says that patent leather is very popular this year but it is not a very flexible material and does not accommodate the foot very well. Look for leather that is high-quality, flexible, and soft. She says that suede is an ideal choice. Also watch if the shoe is topstitched because that can lessen the elasticity of the fit.

  • Soft cushioning is essential.

The feet so not have a lot of fat on them so some padding in the shoe makes them much more comfortable. New technology has also provided nearly invisible gel pads which can be used under the ball of the foot when wearing heels

  • Watch the height of the heel.

Dr. Hoorfar likes to limit her heels to 3 inches. The width of the heel also matters too. Wider ones will not wobble as opposed to the spindly kind. By the way the spindly kind are terrible for ankles. It will also make a difference if the heel is centered under your foot rather that too far back.

  • Look for substantial soles.

Very thin bottoms on your shoes do not protect your feet from the hard pavement and rocky ground. Some of our most popular styles today, like wedges and platforms, have solid bottoms that can absorb the shock of the foot hitting the ground.

  • Lower risk with high-cut shoes.

Bunions can form when the shoe rubs against the foot at the widest point. This happens when you have “sexy toe cleavage”. A toe casing that is covered is safer. Also if you have deep-dipping sides it will allow the foot to slop over the edges instead of staying correctly aligned.

  • Look for adjustability.

Check to see if the shoe has laces, straps, or ties that you could loosen if your feet would swell.