Take the following quiz and check your shoe IQ!
(Answers and resources appear at bottom of page.)
1. When you shop for shoes, do you always buy the same size?
2. When is the best time to try on new shoes?
Morning Noon Evening
3. Is it necessary to have your feet measured when you buy new shoes?
4. Can you judge the fit of a shoe while sitting down?
5. How much room do you need between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe for a good fit?
1" 1/2" 1/4"
6. Should the heel counter inside the shoe fit loosely to prevent pressure?
7. Are pointed toe shoes really that bad for you?
Always Sometimes Never
8. Is it O.K. to wear high heels?
Always Sometimes Never
9. Do you ever buy shoes that are tight anticipating that they will stretch out over time?
10. What is the best way to judge comfort in a shoe?
Soft Material Cushioned Sole Walking
Shoe IQ Quiz Answers
1. Shoe sizes are not uniform. Sizes will vary between shoe brands and styles. Don’t depend on the size marked in the shoe when you purchase your shoewear. Pick the shoe size that best fits your foot.
2. For most of us, the correct answer is evening. Our feet swell when we stand and walk for long periods of time. To choose the best fit it is important that you try on the shoes at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest.
3. It is important to have both feet measured when buying shoes. Our feet change over time and frequently a larger shoe is needed as we grow older. In addition, most of us have one foot that is larger than the other. Buy to fit the larger foot.
4. When you stand, your foot naturally collapses into its normal resting position. It is important to stand when you try on your shoes and make sure there is plenty of room to wiggle your toes without pressure. Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
5. While standing and putting all of your weight on the foot being measured, make sure there is at least 3/8" to 1/2" space between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This can be estimated by using your index fingertip.
6. The heel counter should fit snugly around your heel. There should be minimal slippage.
7. Pointed toe shoes force the toes to conform to the shoe outline. This promotes formation of bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas. Select a shoe that conforms as nearly as possible to the shape of your foot. This usually means a rounded toe box. If you do wear pointed toe shoes, make it infrequently and for short periods of time.
8. High heels force your feet forward into the toe box and increase the risk of forefoot problems. Also, most of the body weight is on the ball of the foot. This can lead to metatarsalgia, pain in the forefoot under the metatarsal heads. A moderate or low heel (not more than 2 1/4") is recommended.
9. Shoes should feel comfortable when you first put them on. Don’t purchase tight shoes expecting them to stretch. Stitching patterns over the toe box will prevent stretching and can lead to pressure points.
10. Walking in the shoe helps you judge comfort, as walking allows you to wiggle your toes and feel any heel slippage. You also can better judge the arch support and cushioning of the sole. Make sure the shoe feels right!
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) offers information on this site as an educational service. The content of FootCareMD, including text, images and graphics, is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatments. If you need medical advice, use the "Find an Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon" tool at the top of this page or contact your primary doctor.