Shoes that are a half-size too big can impact your gait and comfort. While running shoes and hiking shoes on the large side can prevent crowding at the front, most shoes should fit more snugly. An ill-fitting shoe can cause injury if your foot twists in your shoe or slips out while walking or running. Several solutions help to achieve a more custom fit for an enjoyable walking experience.
Techniques for Laced Shoes
For laced shoes like athletic shoes or hiking shoes, wearing a thicker sock can help fill the gap between your foot and your shoe. Combining two pairs of socks of different thicknesses, such as a thinner cotton sock and a thicker outer sock may also ensure a better fit.
If heel slippage is a problem, a different lacing technique may help. In lock lacing, the laces thread through the eyelets normally until the second set of eyelets. Instead of crossing over, the laces thread vertically and into the top pair of eyelets. The laces cross over and thread under each vertical lace section. The laces then tie as usual.
Insoles and Inserts
Insoles made of gel, air or foam can fill the space between the shoe and foot and add comfort. A full insole that extends from heel to toe can fit the shoe's interior by trimming the excess material.
Half soles, arch supports and gel heel cups can help adapt specific areas of the shoe to ensure a more snug fit. For example, gel heel cups allow stability and heel support, especially for people with narrow heels. Some gel heel cups work well with athletic shoes to add stability and minimise heel pain.
Foot cushions fit the front of the shoe for shock absorption. Strips of cushioning foam can also fill the gap anywhere in the shoe. A more custom fit can result from layering the tape on top of other layers in a problem area such as the heel.