We take our foot health for granted. We stuff our feet in shoes that are often too short or too narrow, work on a hard factory floor in shoes that don’t have enough cushioning, or run 25 miles a week on hard pavement. Ouch!

Even if you don’t need therapeutic shoes, be kind to your feet by wearing well-fitted shoes. This is doubly important for people who have diabetes. The following shoe fitting suggestions were developed cooperatively by the National Shoe Retailers Association, American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, and the Pedorthic Footwear Association.

(1) Have your feet sized every time you buy shoes. Your feet tend to get longer and wider as you grow older. You might be surprised to find out what your size is now. And have both feet sized, as one may be longer than the other.

(2) Have your feet measured at the end of the day. Feet often swell during the day, and you want to buy shoes that will fit all day long.

(3) Keep in mind that sizes vary among different shoe brands and styles. Judge the shoe by how it fits, not the size marked in the shoe.

(4) Once the shoes are on, there should be 3/8″ to 1/2″, of space beyond your longest toe while you’re standing; at the same time, the ball of your foot should fit well into the widest part of the shoe.

(5) Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit well. The heels should not slip very much. Don’t expect shoes to stretch to fit. If they aren’t comfortable at the time of the fitting, don’t buy them.