Basic Footwear Advice

Basic Footwear Advice

Sports Shoe Fitting by a Foot Mechanics Podiatrist“What shoe is right for me?”

There are many different types of shoes that are available on the market but the question that is constantly asked is “What type of shoes are right for me?” and “How do I know if it is a good shoe?”

The answer depends on what the shoe is going to be used for. For example: 

  • The level of activity e.g. competitive or social
  • The type of activity you need the shoe for
  • Your foot type
  • Existing foot problems
  • Your running style

A good shoe is designed to give your feet protection and to help prevent injury.  Foot Mechanics Podiatrists are trained to help fit shoes. We use a 14 point fitting system that will help ensure you get the best fitting shoes possible.

If you're out there in the shoe retail market and are just looking for some good basic advice to help you get a good shoe, then read on.

Below is a check list to go through before buying shoes for sporting and recreational activity or daily use. If these requirements are met then, you have the basics of a good shoe.

For further assistance in getting the right shoes consult one of our Foot Mechanics Podiatrists in store each week. 

Free footwear gait analysis in-store, click to find a location near you

or make an appointment for the Foot Mechanics 14 point fitting system at a clinic near you.


Choosing a Shoe - THE BASICS

Break Line

The shoe should NOT be able to be bent in half.  The shoe should bend where the big toe joint would be. If the shoe does bend in half then there is no support for the midfoot and may cause arch pain in runners and walkers.

Sports Shoe Fitting Guidelines


Heel Counter

The heel counter is the portion of the shoe which holds the heel in and helps prevent the foot from sliding around the shoe. This acts as a support to your foot. It helps to stabilize and maintain the position of the heel as the shoe contacts the ground. A stiff heel counter is recommended.

Sports Shoe Fitting Guidelines


Midsole Material

This is a very important feature on a shoe. With sport shoes they should be made out of EVA as this material is light and has good shock absorbing properties. Sport shoes should NOT be made out of capped rubber. This has a honeycomb pattern and is very heavy and has poor shock absorption.

Sports Shoe Fitting Guidelines


Fit of the Shoe

The “rule of thumb”. You need to have 1 thumb width from the top of the shoe to the tip of the longest toe (this is usually the big toe but it can also be the second toe).  The shoe should also be wide where your foot is wide, and narrow where your foot is narrow.

Sports Shoe Fitting Guidelines


Print this advice as a pdf here.


Foot Mechanics has brand partnerships with three athletic footwear companies:

We work with these companies as they have a proven track record in research and design to assist active people into shoes that will be comfortable and help prevent injury.

Foot Mechanics also has a brand partnership with a leading woman's comfort footwear brand:

If you need customised footwear due to arthritis, diabetes or any other reason we have the solution. Dr Comfort is the world leading brand in prescription footwear and is available at Foot Mechanics Podiatry. To read more about Dr Comfort at Foot Mechanics follow the link below.