Bringing in old shoes when you're buying new ones can be helpful if you have a knowledgeable salesperson. She can evaluate the wear patterns to help you get a better fit as well as a style that will compensate for the stresses you place on shoes.
What are your shoes trying to tell you? Here are the basic wear patterns:
- A bulge and wear to the side of the big toe: A too-narrow fit or you have a bunion.
- Outer sole wear: You turn out. Orthotics may help.
- Toe shaped ridges on the upper: Shoes are too small or you have hammertoes.
- Wear on the ball of the foot: Your heel tendons may be too tight. Stretch with heel raises.
- Wear on the inner sole: You pronate or turn in. Inner liners or orthotic supports may help.
- Wear on the upper, above the toes: The front of your shoe is too low.