The Challenge of Buying Shoes Online

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by Neal Lebar (President of ICS Shoes)

Have you ever bought shoes online, only to have to return them? I recently bought 2 pairs of tennis shoes and neither of them fit. I wear a size 10, Medium or Wide, depending upon the manufacturer. Even though I know my size, I still have a problem getting it right the first time.

The first question our Fitting Specialist's asks is, what is your shoe size? We get answers like; "I haven't measured my feet since I was 12, I think it's a 10, or I have no idea."

There are 4 considerations that need to be addressed when purchasing shoes; (1) Size (length), (2) Width, (3) Foot Volume (foot type - flat / high arch), and (4) Foot Issues (ailments). I'm sure you've tried on shoes with your measurements only to find they don't fit. The truth of the matter is, the measurements are simply a "rule of thumb."

Shoes are sold by their length and width. This doesn't take into account, the depth of the shoe that you will need based upon your foot type, and condition. Aliments such as: Bunions, Hammertoes, Claw Toes, Flat Feet, Braces (AFO), Lymphoedema, Edema, Charcot, and Neuropathy must be considered to match your feet with the right shoe.

In order to have the most comfortable fit, the shoes need to address all 4 considerations: Size, Width, Volume, and Ailments:

SIZE & WIDTH: The easiest and most accurate way to measure your feet is at a retail shoe store or podiatrist. Another suggestion is to place your foot on a piece of paper, and outline it with a pen or pencil. Then use a ruler to measure the length and width. You can Google "foot measuring chart" that will convert inches to a foot size and width.

VOLUME (Girth): The easiest and most accurate way to measure your volume is at a Podiatrist. Another suggestion is to place your foot on the floor and place a tape measure on the floor of one side of your foot and continue to the floor of the other side of your foot. You can Google "foot measuring chart" that will convert inches to foot volume.

AILMENTS: If you have issues with your feet, learn everything you can about them. Your shoes should be comfortable and provide excellent support. If you're experiencing pain, address it with your Dr. or visit a Podiatrist.

ICS specializes in providing Therapeutic and Extra-Wide shoes from several manufacturer's. These hard to find shoes are available in a variety of Widths including: Narrow, Medium, Wide, X-Wide, XX-Wide, and XXX-Wide. Many of the shoes are also available in "Extra, Double, or Supra Depth", allowing for the appropriate "space or volume" inside the shoe.

I subsequently ordered a different style of tennis shoes in a Wide and they fit perfectly. I liked them so much, I bought another pair. Sometimes you have to try a few times to get the right fit, even when you know your size.

The size, width, volume, and design varies by manufacturer. Since the ICS Fitting Specialists understand the construction of the Styles we represent, they will be able to help you find the right shoe for your needs. If you need help, call the ICS Fitting Specialists. They are happy to help and have the knowledge and experience to take the guess work out of buying shoes online.


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