A guide on shoe shopping – how to find shoes that fit the different feet types

Gather a group of women in a room. Barefooted. Stare down at a bunch of naked feet and you will notice just how considerably different they are from the other. Even on the same person, you may see subtle differences between their left and right foot. At this point, you are probably wondering if foot types play any significant role in your shoe buying decision. The answer is, absolutely

Getting the right shoe is not a complicated matter. In fact, one of the ways to skip the pain and frustrations is to know your feet type. From our countless conversations with our TOUFIE women, we have identified the several common types of feet. Today, we are excited to share what we’ve learnt with you!

Flat feet

If your foot type is flat foot, it simply means that you have relatively low arches. On a footprint, you will see your entire foot or most of it. Flat feet tend to lean inwards. People with flat feet suffer from pain in their heels and the area where the arch should be. The pain worsens should you be required to spend a lot of time or prolonged periods on your feet. 

However, speaking from experience (a fellow flat footer too!), trust us when we say that these issues can be easily avoided. Buy shoes that come with padded insoles. And get shoes that allow you to insert arch support insole pads, to relieve the pain associated with flat feet. You need not necessarily buy bulky shoes that are marketed as shoes for bunions, an insole would suffice. If your flat-footedness is causing you a lot of pain, consider orthotic insoles that are at least 3/4 length. If your flat-footedness is not as serious, such that it doesn't cause aching knee and back-pain, consider our arch support insole pads. 

Wide Feet

Apart from arches determining your foot type, the width of your feet too is a key determinant in finding the shoe that fits. While some have fallen arches, others have relatively wide feet, particularly around the toes and balls of the feet. They can easily be the source of foot discomfort. However, this does not mean that you can only wear sandals or open-toe shoes. Just know the kind of shoes to look out for and you are good to go. Always remember, moderation is key. That means, pick shoes that are not too pointed nor too rounded, something like a tapered oval. Go for shoes that are a hybrid of the two toe types. For instance, the almond toe front. Unlike the pointy pointed toe front, almond toe fronts have a blunt tip - that is the easiest way to identify them. Think about almond toe front as having the best of both worlds as it is flattering, elegant and definitely more comfortable than the other toe fronts. 

Apart from the toe types, also ensure that the shoes you pick are made from soft, breathable material. If they are stretchable, they are definitely a great bonus! It will allow your feet to flex comfortably as you walk. Avoid structured or hard shoes. Instead, opt for those made with a super soft natural material like lambskin


Shoe shopping is all fun and exciting until someone develops a bunion; you may know it as that painful bony bump that usually sticks out from the big toe. Bunions generally develop when there is pressure on the big toe joint causing your toe to lean toward the second toe and hence leading to a misalignment. 

Just like those who have wide feet, if you have bunions, ensure that the shoes you pick are made from soft, breathable and stretchable material. It will allow your feet to flex comfortably as you walk without hurting your bunions. Avoid hard, structured shoes or those with lining. Instead, opt for those made from super soft natural material like lambskin, and best still, those that are unlined (single quality layer of leather used to make the upper – top part of the shoe). Your bunions will find solace in such shoes.

Whatever it is, avoid too high a heel (8cm onwards), thin heels like stilettos or shoes with a girth that is too small and narrow. All of which will just increase pressure on your bunions and aggravate them, so avoid them at all cost! 

Asymmetrical feet length

Believe it or not, this is very common. In fact, if you have symmetrical feet length, then you are the exception! So, if you always have that problem where one shoe fits perfectly but the other is just loose, fret not. Just fix the t-shaped heel grip only on the loose pair and voilà! Problem solved!

Narrow or low heel

Most people know their shoe size, but that magic number really only addresses the length of your feet. A narrow or low heel can be the result of having a narrow foot (that is, the entire foot is just very narrow), or a heel that is narrower than “normal” in relation to the forefoot. 

So how does this look like under a real shoe shopping situation? Well, unlike your friends, you struggle to find a pair that fits:

  • Your feet are constantly sliding backwards and forward or from side to side as you walk
  • You curl your toes to reduce unnecessary sliding in the shoe
  • Your feet keep on sliding out of your shoes (although the length is right)
  • You tend to size down for a better grip, but that makes the shoe unbearably tight and painful 

Sounds all too familiar? Liberate your feet from the peril of ill-fitted shoes. You can still feel like a modern Cinderella with the right accessories. You do not have to spend a bomb getting customised or bespoke shoes, simply get the right inserts and your problem is solved! For instance, try using the T-shaped heel grip. Avoid those that are made from cloth or fabric. Instead, choose those that are made from natural silicone gel as they are soft, flexible, elastic and non-slippery. Its soft material yet gripping design prevents the common problem of shoe slippage, caused by narrow bone structure or shoes that are a little too big for the feet.

Now that you are informed about your feet and shoe types, are you ready to paint the town red? 

The good news is… you can finally stay out all night without thinking about your aching feet. 

The bad news is… you will have to think of an excuse if you want to go home early. 😉