"THE FITTED SHOE"

tom@fittedshoe.com   


-- WHEN THE SHOE FITS,

    BUT DOESN'T FIT

Many of our articles are read by people who never buy from us, but just want information.  So here are some of the shoe problems, possible causes and solutions.  If you have a question, feel free to contact me.

ENTIRE PAIR OF SHOES ARE WAY TOO BIG OR SMALL

Probable cause is you just guessed size, did not measure your feet or  know what you measure on a brannock fitting device.  The other cause is that you did not follow the fitting guides.  Solution, measure both feet on a brannock fitting device while standing and then follow that styles fitting guide to get the right size.  Return the shoes and order the correct size.  If you have a question, e-mail me for assistance.

PAIR OF SHOES IS SLIGHTLY OFF

Probable cause is a difference between your two feet or you are in between sizes.  If a size problem, you are are within an eight of an inch of perfect.  Just return and adjust the half size or width to make it better.  Another cause can be is that your feet and the shoes have not molded together enough at this time.  This would be if you have a bunion or other problem or the shoe is just stiff from being new.  Solution is to stretch the pinpoint area slightly with a ball stretch or have your shoe repair mark the area and soften it for you.  Have the shoe repair roll the edge, heel or problem area.

ANKLE HITS OUTSIDE EDGE OF SHOE WALL

Solution is to either roll the edge at the shoe repair or to put in 1/4 inch felt or rubber heel seats to raise the ankle.  Usually the cause is that you pronate or roll to the inside and this drops the outside ankle down as the Talus bone shifts inward.  Your ankle is part of your descending leg bones and pivot over the saddle Talus bone. If you have padded collars on your shoes, do not worry about contact.  The soft cushions filled with air will not irritate you.  Only hard leather contact with the bone will potentially irritate.  In severe cases of pronation, the tool called a ball stretch may have to be used to pocked the top edge of the shoe for the bone to rest in.  This is due to extreme rotation of the Talus and all shoes will irritate the area when new.  If you look at your old shoes and see a small pocket in the top outside edge of your shoes, this is you and the cure is a stretch for the bone in the area.  Another solution are rigid rubber or other arch supports to roll you straighter and lift the ankle by better posture.

HEEL IS LOOSE ON ONE OR BOTH SHOES.

If the length and width are correct and feel good, the cause may just be that the sole is resisting bending because it is new.  Solution is to flex the sole at the ball of the foot.  Another solution is to tie or strap the shoe tighter.  If the shoe ties fairly close together, you may be a half size long or a width wide.  Re-measure your feet and then adjust size accordingly.  If length and width are correct, the addition of a tongue pad under the vamp and instep of the shoe may gently push you back into the heel and make the heel fit better.  This often done when arthritic fingers do not allow a snug tie or if the instep is inflamed and ties bother the foot.  Another solution is to roll the heel counter with your fingers.  Often heels are slightly pointed from the lasting process and takes a few hours to round and mold around the heel properly.

If only one shoe seems loose, you may have a width difference in your foot.  A thin insole or two cork gum insoles glued together and cut to fill the bottom of the shoe may take up a width and solve the problem.

HEEL TIGHT BUT SHOE FITS

Roll the heel counter at the shoe repair or with your fingers.  You may want to push the counter forward to round it.  You may need to roll the instep slightly at the shoe repair.  Normally this will take off most of the newness. If it still feels stiff, just wear a few hours at a time for a couple of days or even sit in the shoes while you watch television.  Shoes should mold within a few minutes to a few hours.

ARCH SUPPORT LIFTS ME OUT OF THE SHOE

Arch supports always lift you out of the heel.  They also create an airspace between your foot and the shoe due to the thickness of the arch support behind the heel.  A tongue pad in the instep may push you back into the heel tighter.  Rolling the heel or pushing it forward may allow the arch support to settle in better and increase heel fit.  Normally, your heel fit will be better in a week or two after the foot, arch support and shoe have all molded together under your body temperature and weight.  Often arch supports do not work in standard or regular shoes.  The lasting for the heel to fit into the heel counter locking mechanism has been changed by the thickness of the arch support and lifts you above the locking mechanism.  Solution is a change to in-depth shoes made for arch supports, going to regular tie shoes that come up higher on the foot or ankle, using shoes with padded heels to build up the height and make better heel contact, and finally shoes that tie up higher and shorten the opening, thus increasing contact and heel fit.

ONE SHOE FITS AND THE OTHER IS LOOSE

Usually caused by one foot being shorter or narrower than the other foot.  If a width problem, you may want to use a tongue pad to tighten up the instep.  The other solution is to use an insole or to cut two cork gum insoles per width of desired change and glue them together and cut to fill bottom of the sole of the shoe.  If a length problem, you probably need to re-measure both feet and then if the size is correct of the larger foot and too big on the smaller, you may want to either decrease length by a half size (fit the smaller foot) or get the same length and drop one width.

DRESS SHOES LOOSE OR GAP

This is usually a women's problem.  The desire to wear heels, pumps, loafers and flats with feet that roll, pronate or have fallen arches.  If you sit in an open shoe and your ankles roll to the inside, you will then have a gap that corresponds on the outside.  The shoes are made straight up and down, but it you push the inside wall of the shoe over an inch, you will have a gap on the outside of an inch.  Solution is to stay in tie shoes :).  Having been ignored, the other solutions are to fit the shorter foot rather than the longer foot.  If both the same size, fit down a half size from the size you would wear in a tie shoe.  The other solution is to fit the length and go one width narrower.  Insoles will normally lift you out of the shoe more.  Heel grips can help.  Another solution is to stay away from pumps and slip on shoes and go to straps and keep the straps tight to compensate for the heel and openness of the shoes.  If you pronate a lot, the addition of a hard rubber arch or scaphoid pad can help you stand more erect and reduce the gap.  You can find them in most shoe repair shops.  Remember, if it is your foot and not size, you will have the problem in all similar shoes.  Correction not the shoe is the answer.

HEEL BLISTERED

Not common, usually from the shoes being tied or strapped too loose and allowing the foot to float around and create friction.  A wrinkled sox or seams in the sox may also cause the problem.  Solution is to let heal and then roll the heels of the shoes and wear with tie or strap adjusted tighter.  Check out the sox and throw away any with prominent seams, wads of threads in the corners or holes.  If the shoe is new and heel counter a little pointed and stiff, take off and roll heel edges with fingers, push counter forward to round or have shoe repair put on roller.  Let foot heal and wear a few hours the first few wearings.  Make sure there are no rough seams, or bumps in the inside of the heel of the shoe.  Sometimes scrap trimmings can get stuck between the heel lining and the heel counter.  If present, the shoe is defective and you should return the shoe to the store where you bought them.

ARCH SUPPORT IN ONLY ONE SHOE

You have to measure your foot while standing on the arch support on the brannock fitting device.  You fit the foot and the arch support.  You will have to add a 1/4 insole to the good foot to compensate for the larger size.  In depth shoes will help.  You remove the insole from the one and put in the prescription arch support and leave the insole that came from the factory in the other.  Tongue pads can be added under the tongue and instep to tighten heel fit.

SHOES HAVE STRETCHED AND NOW ARE LOOSE

Not common in tie shoes, but can happen even there.  In tie shoes, put in a tongue pad under the tongue and instep to take up the stretch and allow the ties to stay more separated and push you back into the heel better.  In open or dress shoes, you may have to add an insole.  Be careful not to fill up the heel too much as this can push you up out of the shoe even more.  Some insoles are made just to fill the toe box and instep.  Or you can cut out the heel of an insole to allow the heel to stay dropped in the locking mechanism of the heel of the shoe.  The addition will fill the stretch and tighten the fit.

I ROLL OVER MY SHOES

The problem is that your arch ligament has stretched and the bones in the foot are shifting.  Stronger shoes with full heel counters, shoes with extended orthopaedic heel counters, shoes with steel shanks, orthopaedic steel shanks, arch supports, inner heel wedges, and other corrections can help.  You can start with shoes, but if the problem persist with better shoes, you may have to go the next step and consult a doctor and try arch support or wedges.

KNEES OR BACK HURTS

Stronger tie shoes, Vibram or other cushion soles, thicker cushion insoles or combinations of all three will help.

MY ORTHOTICS WON'T GO INTO THE SHOES

You need to re-measure your feet while standing on your orthotics. If you are adding the volume of an arch support to the volume of your foot, the shoe that just fits your foot will now work.  Your shoes may need to be longer and/or wider to fit the new total mass. 

MY ORTHOTICS DON'T WORK

Usually this is caused by the wrong shoes.  Shoes already turned over will not give support with new orthotics.  You need new shoes.  Soft shoes with no heel counters will allow your foot to roll over the orthotic out through the wall of a soft shoe.  End result, the orthotic does not do any good.  Shoes that bend in the arch because they do not have a steel shank, will bend with soft arch supports.  End result, no support from either and a foot that continues to get worse.  The purpose of a arch support is to put you in anatomic position, straight up.  If you build a building in quicksand, the building will collapse.  Putting an orthotic in a soft shoe is much the same and your body will collapse.  Minimum requirements for a shoe to help you orthotic to control you is a firm full heel counter and a steel shank.  Best is a higher tie shoe with  padded collar, double steel shank and orthopaedic heel counter. 

BRACE ON ONLY ONE FOOT

Does not work in regular shoes or dress shoes.  May work in deep walking shoes or a few Gym shoes from Drew, New Balance in the 1000 series or above or a few Etonics.  Best for fit and support is a oblique toe in-depth shoe.  You measure the foot while in the brace on the brannock measuring device.  Since the brace extends past the toes, you fit the brace without additional space.  You will remove the insole that came with the shoe, cut off the arch tab, then put it upside down under the insole in the good foot shoe.  This will equalize the volume difference and length difference between the braced bad side and the good side.  You have to fit the brace as snug as possible to prevent break down of the good foot.

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