When was the last time you had your feet measured? If you can't quite remember, your so-called tried-and-true shoes may have your feet crying out for a different size.
That's right, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 40 percent of male and female respondents couldn't remember the last time their feet were measured. Additionally, 65 percent of American women between the ages of 18 and 49 haven't had their feet measured within the last five years -; meaning they are probably trekking around in shoes that don't fit.
And since the survey also reports that 84 percent of both male and female respondents chose comfort over style when buying non-athletic shoes, its surprising that foot measurements have gone by the wayside.
Many people don't realize that shoe size can change with age, from manufacturer to manufacturer and for many women during pregnancy. Not to mention, an ill-fitting shoe can wreak havoc on your feet. With the possibility of painful blisters and unsightly corns to unnerving neuromas and irritating bunions, there's nothing like finding a shoe with the perfect fit.
Here are a few tips from the APMA that will help you put your best foot forward:
* It's important to remember that when you're getting fitted for a new shoe, you should wait until later in the day because your feet swell throughout the afternoon. And be sure to stand when your feet are being measured or fitted.
* Don't be surprised if your feet aren't the same size. If you have this problem, try to buy for the larger foot.
* You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive, so the same rule should apply to your shoes. Always try on both shoes, and walk around the store, preferably on a hard surface.
* Stay away from shoes that require a "break-in" period. Properly fitting shoes should be comfortable immediately.
* Conduct a "dress rehearsal." Try on shoes while you are wearing the same type of socks or stockings you expect to wear with the shoes.
For more information and guidelines on caring for your feet, visit www.apma.org.