How To Buy Women’s Shoes That Fit

Have you ever purchased shoes that you thought fit right in the store, but then when you got home, they felt too tight or hurt your feet?

It’s happened to most of us at one time or another…and the reason is that we didn’t know how to purchase women’s shoes that fit properly. We were never taught what to look for in a shoe. We probably found cute shoes that we liked, tried them on one foot quickly, and decided that they fit OK enough. But that doesn’t work too well when it comes to shoes! 

We need to put them on both feet. We need to walk around in them. We need to look at some other factors too to ensure a proper fit.

We know that shoes that are too high will hurt if we wear them long enough. While heel height and the amount of time spent in high heels are important when thinking of buying shoes, there is another factor to consider: ill-fitting shoes.

If shoes are too small, or in other words, too tight or not long enough, they will hurt. And this can cause several foot problems such as ingrown toenails, blisters, corns and calluses, hammertoes, bunions, neuromas, bursitis, and of course foot pain. But remember that shoes that are too big are also a problem. They can cause blisters due to slipping and sliding back and forth, causing friction.

Let’s take a look at some ill-fitting shoes:


These shoes are too short. Notice the big toe and little toe hanging over the edge.

These shoes are even worse! Notice how four toes are hanging off the edge and are even touching the ground!

These shoes are obviously too tight. The foot is swelling up and bulging out of the shoe.

So in order to avoid this from happening to you, make sure you only buy shoes that fit properly. Knowing your foot type helps a lot. If you know you have wide feet, don’t try to squeeze into narrow, pointy toed shoes. It doesn’t work. Even if you like the style, it just doesn’t work. Knowing your size is also very important! Most shoe stores and podiatrists have a measuring device. If you are measuring your own foot with the device, make sure you are standing and putting all of your weight down onto the device to get the correct size. Do not try to squeeze into a 7 if you know you are an 8! It happens all the time. Many women try to squeeze into shoes that are not their size because they want to be a smaller size. It doesn’t work that way. It sounds like common sense, I know, but it happens a lot! Just embrace your shoe size and work with it. Your feet will be so much happier and love you for it! Take it from a foot expert! 🙂

You need to make sure that you can wiggle your toes in the shoes while standing in them. Make sure that none of your foot is hanging off of the shoe. Go shopping toward the end of the day when your feet are as swollen as they are going to get. If you wear orthotics, take your orthotics to the store with you and try the shoes on with them. Make sure that you wear the proper width socks when trying on shoes; wear the socks or stockings that you would normally wear with the shoes so that when you get home there is no problem. Remember that shoes should fit comfortably in the store; if the shoes feel too tight in the store, they will still be too tight when you get home. Don’t count on the shoes “stretching out.” Shoes should not have to stretch out in order for them to be comfortable.

Now let’s look at some shoes that fit properly:


Notice how the toes are not hanging over the edge and are not bent like a hammertoe.

Again, the toes are not hanging over the edge and are not hammered so the fit looks good.

Happy Shopping! 🙂

Please comment below if you have any further questions about shoe shopping and getting the right fit.

Dr. Michele, The Shoe Expert 

“All shoes, all the time!”

5 Responses to “How To Buy Women’s Shoes That Fit”

  1. one can argue that it can go both ways

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lorna Pullman , Dr. Michele. Dr. Michele said: How To Buy Women's Shoes That Fit: […]

  3. I’ve always wondered, what exactly is a hammertoe?

  4. Hi Michelle, here is a link to explain it:

    Have you ever seen anyone’s small toes that look bent downward? They usually develop corns on them from rubbing on the inside of the shoes when walking.

    Hope that helps,
    –Dr. Michele

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