Quality Shoes: What traits to look for

Ben Franklin probably didn’t say “show me a grumpy man and I’ll show you a man with bad shoes”, but he should have. They say that shoes make the man, and they’re right on that one in more ways than one. Good, quality shoes do more than make you look good – they make you feel good. A pair of high quality shoes makes your feet happy, and when your feet are happy, the rest of you is in a much better frame of mind to deal with your day. Poorly made and ill-fitting shoes are at the root of many a miserable day, and here’s why.

Poorly made shoes hurt more than your feet.

Your feet are your skeleton’s foundation. When there’s a problem with the foundation of a building, the symptoms can show up in cracks in the walls or ceilings, floors that tilt in the wrong direction – even in electrical and plumbing problems. The same is true with your body. When your shoes don’t support your feet properly, your legs and hips and spine and shoulders and neck try to compensate. Taking any of those out of alignment can cause discomfort, pain and other problems.

You’re far more likely to notice the discomfort of things like bunions and blisters caused by rough seams, heel pain from poor support and generally aching feet from shoes that constrict them. Between the obvious pain caused by shoes that aren’t made well and the more subtle effects of poorly fit and low quality shoes, you can end up in constant low-level pain. Who can think clearly and be cheerful when their feet and their body are in pain?

How high quality shoes can help

Well-made, quality shoes support your feet in a number of different ways. ┬áThe heel cup is designed to keep your heels steady, preventing your ankles from tilting when you walk. The shank that runs from the heel to the ball of your foot gently encourages your feet to distribute your weight evenly. A roomy toe box gives your toes the room they need to move and grip the ground while you walk – even if they’re not actually in contact with the ground.

The materials that go into making up your shoes also make a big difference. Real leather breathes, wicking moisture away from your feet and letting air circulate around them. That means cooler feet, less chance of infection and a lot less stinky feet.

What to look for in quality shoes

Now that you know why quality shoes are important, let’s talk about how to choose a good pair of shoes that will support your feet – and your body – properly.

-First, look at the shoe.

Style may be important to your eye, but there are other things to look for. Are the seams straight and evenly stitched? Is the leather smooth and well-finished? Does the shoe LOOK well-made?

-Feel the shoe.

Take the shoe in both hands and try to twist it. It sho