Looking for shoes buying guide? Then you are at the right place. From shining brightly during an important event to helping us cross that muddy road, shoes are our best friends that help us through them all. To most people, buying shoes is as easy as picking up bread at the grocery store. They just pick up a pair at the store, see if it fits and out they go with their new pair of shoes. But that isn’t always the right strategy as most often the tiniest details neglected can later make us regret our decision.
Buying Guide For Shoes
Be it working in a factory, walking, hiking, running or attending a friend’s wedding, there are shoes made specifically for pretty much every situation. So the first thing any shoe buyer should ask themselves is what they want the shoes for. Is it for running? Or is it part of their official uniform? After determining the type of shoes, there are still so many to choose from. And while variety is generally a good thing, it can often leave the indecisive ones scratching their heads for hours. And that is why we will try to cover everything that you, the consumer, should look out for when buying your new pair of shoes.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of shoes and equip you with the knowledge required for guiding you to the right decision about your shoes.
If you’re in a hurry or just don’t care about all the tiny details, these are the most important things that you need to keep in mind.
Find a pair that is comfortable to wear. Look for soft cushions on the inside of the shoes. Most shoes today already include some sort of cushioning in their shoes but it is still a good idea to double check, just in case.
For all the soon to be mothers out there, pregnant women can also notice an increase in the size of their feet.
Always have the salesman measure your feet. Try on both shoes and try walking around in them.
Last but definitely not least, the shape of the shoes does matter. Yet it is almost always ignored. The front part of the shoe determines the shape of the shoe. Some are curved and some are straight. Match the shape with the shape of your feet to get the perfect shoe that fits you.
Pick a Type: Sports, Casual or Formal?
This can be very straightforward and no one should have difficulty in determining what type of shoes they want. But in the rare case that you are facing difficulty, here’s a little guide.
If you just landed the new office job that you applied for and are thinking about buying a new pair of shoes to wear on the first day to impress your boss, then you need to shop in the “formal” section of the shop.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for something that you will wear during physical activities like running, playing football, hiking, or any other sport then it’s better that you go to a sports shop because they will have all types of shoes that fit your needs.
Lastly, if you don’t belong to any of these categories and are just looking for something to wear around the house, then the “casual” section is where you should look around. Casual shoes can also be worn to parties and other gatherings.
Check the Material
The material from which your shoes are made can make a huge difference. Every material has its pros and cons and there is no material that will work in every situation. But it is still better to know a little about the different types of materials used in making different shoes.
Suede is a type of leather that has a fuzzy cloth type finish. It is most commonly used for jackets, shirts, purses and, you guessed it, shoes. Suede is made from the inner side of the animal skin, which is softer, but also less durable compared to the outer layer of the skin. Suede is very fancy and is very pleasing to the eye. It is soft, furry and a plus if you want to up your style game.
The downside to suede shoes is that because of their soft and furry texture, they are extremely easy to get dirty. Stepping out in the rain or even snow will do horrors to suede shoes. It may also not be the best choice for consumers who prefer non-animal products.
Canvas is an extremely durable fabric used in the making of shoes, tents and other items for which sturdiness and durability are required. Canvas shoes are typically for casual use. Hanging out with friends, beach, bright colors, that is what the canvas screams.
Leather looks more polished, shiny and mature compared to canvas or suede. Leather shoes don’t get dirty easily and can be washed off with ease if they ever do get dirty.
Leather shoes are more suitable for formal wear and not for every day because they’re not the most comfortable. Wearing them regularly may also cause wrinkles, which will ruin the aesthetics.
Keep Your Health in Mind
While buying shoes, it is important that you keep your health in mind. For instance, wearing tight and narrow shoes that aren’t meant for your feet can prove detrimental and can cause you many problems in the long run.
Here are some of the common problems that may occur due to wearing improper shoes:
Ingrown Toe Nails:
Wearing shoes that are narrow or too short can cause painful ingrown toenails because pressure against the nail bed can cause the nails to grow into the skin. This can make the nails harder to clean or cut which could lead to infections.
Another common toe deformity is known as “bunions” is an enlargement of bone or tissue around the base of the big toe. As the bunion grows, the big toe turns towards the other toes, causing pain and swelling. While bunions may be caused due to genetic factors, in most cases the culprit is wearing tight shoes.
Hammer toe may occur because of wearing tighter and shorter shoes. This is because the toe starts to curl up inside the shoe instead of laying flat. To make matters worse, if the toes remain in this abnormal position for long enough, the muscles at the joints may become weaker and weaker.
Severe cases of the aforementioned deformities may require surgery to fix. That is why you should be careful about the type of shoes you wear.
Keep the following in mind to choose a friendly pair of shoes:
While trying on a new shoe, make sure that there is room between your toes and that they’re not cramped or pinching each other. Also, make sure that none of your toes are pushing over or against another toe.
Ask the salesman to measure your feet. Measure both length and width because as we discussed earlier, both play an important role.
Shoes with laces or some other type of straps provide better support for the arches of the feet.
So now that health hazards are covered, let’s talk about shoes that are designed for specific activities and explore their features.
Different Shoes for Different Needs
The footwear industry is booming. In 2016, men in the U.S. spent over 26 billion dollars on footwear while women spent around 30 billion. So with a market that big, you can be sure that there are shoes made for basically every activity.
Buying good running shoes can be a daunting task. There are so many to choose from with prices ranging from $10 all the way to $200. So what makes the $200 shoes special and would the $10 ones fail at doing a good job?
The answer isn’t that simple. There is no such thing as the best running shoes because everyone has different needs. The goal is to choose what’s perfect for you. And your needs will determine how much you need to spend on your new pair of running shoes. So let’s discuss some of the more common types of running shoes:
Pronation of the foot is a common issue that affects most runners. This makes them vulnerable to knee pains and injuries. Overpronation is when your foot rolls inwards while running. Stability shoes are usually recommended to overcome this trait.
Motion control shoes are designed to reduce excessive foot motions. These Motion control shoes and stability shoes both have increased medial support which increases stability and reduces pronation of the foot. Furthermore, these Motion control shoes are typically very rigid and provide more support and extra cushions compared to other shoes. Motion control shoes are suitable for heavy runners.
One of the more important features to look for when choosing walking shoes is a comfort. Shoes that fit your feet and are comfortable can help prevent pain or injuries like blisters. Look for shoes that are light-weight and have extra cushioning for extra comfort during long walks. Shoes that have a heel collar that cushions the ankle to ensure proper fit can really make a difference.
A good pair of walking shoes has space for the toes. This helps prevent calluses. Keep in mind that shoes that are too narrow may cause painful blisters and calluses if you walk in them for too long.
Quick Tips To Get Best Walking Shoes
While buying shoes for walking, try actually walking in them before making the purchase. A shoe may feel comfortable while standing in them but the actual judgment should be made after you have walked in them for at least a few minutes. Try on a pair, see if it fits and makes sure it has room for you to wiggle your toes. Make sure your heel remains in the shoe and doesn’t slip out as that can create discomfort while walking.
Even the best and most expensive walking shoes will eventually wear out. So consider investing in a new pair after the old one has worn out as the old ones may no longer provide the protection required. A good rule of thumb is to change your shoes when their outsole has worn out or you’ve walked in them for about 400 miles.
Tennis is a sport that requires a lot of footwork. The constant need to move back-and-forth and changing directions mid running means that there is a lot of strain on the feet and shoes while playing tennis. A good pair of tennis shoes will help you endure all the stress and will assist you in playing well.
We won’t dive too deep into the nuances of tennis shoes but will equip you with enough knowledge so that you will be able to buy a pair that will allow you play without suffering from injuries or any discomfort.
Arguably, the most important thing to keep in mind when buying shoes for tennis is the shape of your feet. If you have pronated feet then it is very important that you buy stabilizing tennis shoes. If you have supinated feet, meaning that your foot has a high arch, you should opt for flexible shoes.
Yes, we are also covering parkour. The good thing about parkour is that it is light on the wallet, meaning that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on equipment for parkour. You just need shoes, and good ones at that because without the proper shoes, parkour can be very dangerous and you could end up with serious injuries. That is why you’ll need the best parkour shoes if you’re into it. When shopping for parkour shoes, there are a few points to keep in mind.
It is important that you weigh your parkour shoes before buying them. In a physical activity like parkour, lightly weighted shoes are beneficial as they will allow natural and free body movement. The downside to light shoes is that they usually lack shock absorption. This means that you will feel the impacts more as compared to other shoes, which at the expense of added weight, do a much better job at absorbing impacts. A good rule of thumb is to always go for the lightest shoes you can get while maintaining a decent amount of shock absorption.
The grip is the most important factor to consider when in the market for parkour shoes. Shoes that don’t provide a good grip can prove detrimental to parkour training. You may slip and end up with serious injuries. This is why it is important that you buy shoes with a proper grip that are suitable for parkour.
Shoes for activities like football provide a great grip. But those shoes will not help you with parkour as their grip comes from cleats. For parkour, you need shoes whose grip comes from flat bottoms. Make sure to go for a shoe with a flat bottom and a large surface area.
Pay special attention to the sole of the shoes you’re buying. Avoid plastic and hard rubber soles as they provide minimal grip when compared to soft ones. Thinner soles are better for parkour as they will provide greater sensitivity which is important for training. But shoes with thinner soles will also provide less shock absorption so that is one trade-off you need to keep in mind.
We have been hunting for as long as we have existed. The first humans hunted to provide food and shelter for their families. But today, we don’t hunt just for food, it has become a sport and we do it just for the thrill. A good pair of hunting shoes will make sure that you are safe, fast, quiet and comfortable in harsh conditions of the forests and jungles.
Buying hunting shoes can be a tricky task if you’re new to it because there are many factors to keep in mind and they all depend on the weather condition and the location of the hunting site. We will try and make this task a bit less tricky for you.
Hunting shoes are usually made from leather or rubber. The reason behind this is that both rubber and plastic are known to be very durable which is very important.
Different Types of Hunting Shoes
Hunting shoes are usually divided into four types. We will discuss each briefly below:
Rubber Hunting Boots:
Rubber hunting boots are ideal for wet conditions because rubber is known for its waterproof abilities. These Rubber boots will help you wade in the water and through mud to stalk your prey.
Snake boots, as the name suggests, are best for environments where snakes are known to be lurking around. It is very important that you invest in the best snake shoes for hunting because your everyday shoes are not going to protect you against snakes. Snake boots will keep you safe from snake bites because they are designed with extended collars that go very high up to your legs.
Mountain Hunting Shoes:
Again, as the name suggests, mountain shoes are suitable for hunting animals that live on the mountains. To venture in such areas, you will need shoes that provide traction and grip to keep you steady and prevent you from falling.
Upland Hunting Shoes:
Upland hunting shoes are made for hunters that chase upland birds where the terrain is grassy and flat which isn’t all that daunting and is easy to walk on.
So now that the common types of hunting shoes are covered, let’s talk some more about the different features that hunting boots should offer that you should look out for.
Different hunting shoes have different levels of insulations which are made for different temperatures. If you plan on hunting in the winter then you should go for boots with at least 800 grams of insulation so that you can remain warm at all times. In summer, however, you can get away with little to no insulation. However, wearing thick socks is still recommended.
Now that we’ve covered most of the physical activities, let’s talk about shoes that you can wear anytime, anywhere. It’s time for casual shoes. These are shoes you can wear with jeans, shorts, pajamas or any other outfit. You can wear them to a family gathering or to a party and they’ll fit right in.
The key to a better casual look is simplicity. But of course, that doesn’t mean to be bland and tasteless. It’s finding the right balance between style, fashion, and comfort. This advice is not limited to shoes only, but it is applicable to any part of the dress. It is better to choose pieces that aren’t specifically designed for one season, or occasion.
The best casual shoes should go with everything in your wardrobe. A popular choice is to wear trainers. Trainers these days go with pretty much anything and are a popular choice among the street crowd.
Another popular choice is sneakers. Sneakers can really define your style and they have become the staple in every man’s and woman’s wardrobe. The downside to sneakers compared to trainers is that they don’t go with every type of clothes.
Formal events like office meetings, weddings or other ceremonies require special dressing. Your choice of shoes at such events can tell a lot about your personality and it really ties your suit together. Formal dressing is very different for men and women, which is why we will divide this section and discuss different formal shoes for men and women separately.
Formal Shoes for Men:
Men’s formal shoes come at different styles, shapes, and prices. They are usually made from leather and suede. Here are some of the common and famous formal shoes for men. Keep in mind that some of them can also be quite expensive.
The oxford shoe originated from Ireland and was first called “The Balmoral”. Today it has different names in different countries and it is usually associated with British aristocracy.
The oxford shoes are very elegant and it is the ideal style for pretty much every formal situation. The sleek shoe design makes it a favorite among businessmen who usually wear it with their suit.
The oxford shoes are available in different styles and from different retailers and are quite affordable. They are the perfect choice for weddings, job interviews, office meetings and pretty much any formal event.
“Oxfords, not brogues.” A quote from the movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service” that really does injustice to the brogue shoe.
The brogue shoe is often worn with a suit to achieve a smart, polished look. The brogue style is more flexible compared to Oxford because it is made from multiple pieces of leather. This allows the two-tone shoes to be created thanks to different combinations of leather and fabric. Brogue shoes are available in different designs like hobnail boot design which provides extra grip for uneven ground. The best brogue shoes can be mixed with formal and casual outfits for an overall smart and stylish look.
Formal Shoes for Women:
Just like men’s shoes, women’s shoes also come in a variety. One of the most common footwear for women in offices is high heels, which can be very uncomfortable and also dangerous because it can cause problems like inflammation, knee damage and in some rare cases, it can also damage the spine. So wearing high heels may not be the best choice for women working in offices. However, high heels can be worn at other events that don’t last eight hours of the day and five days of the week.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself to sneakers in an office because there are lots of alternatives to choose from. You could buy shoes with the two-inch kitten heels that are quite comfortable while still present an interesting and attractive look.
Do invest in high-quality shoes if you can afford it. Genuine leather can come in handy on special occasions. Invest in different colours of formal shoes that go with different colours of your cloths.
Avoid shoes with straps for office jobs because they can be quite painful when worn for long hours. And while speaking of comfort, pay extra attention to the shape of the shoes as well. Pointy shoes can increase the chance of bunions and other painful toe deformities.