Top 5 Shoe Myths

Everybody Has Their Theories, Which are the Myths and Truths?

My Answers to the Top 5 Shoe Myths

Top 5 Shoe Myths
Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash

Shoes are a wonderful invention. They really showcase and share with you a personal story about that individual. You may take a jab and guess if they’re a business person or an athlete. Or maybe their just a fashionista or sneakerhead. It’s not surprising to see why shoe retailers are always busy and people continue to scoop up new pairs of shoes add to the collection.

Now while you’re on that shoe floor shopping, you’ll probably hear a few random comments around you from salespeople telling their customers their personal opinion. This material is going to do this or this is how this shoe should fit. The list goes on and you start digesting it within your own personal shopping experience. I would like to clear up the top 5 shoe myths I always hear and give you my personal side.

Top Shoe Myth #1: Please Check for a Thumb Length in the Front.

I absolutely hate this theory and is why I’m going to address this right away. It’s one that you’ll hear many senior shoppers bring up when buying shoes. This is how they were taught and what they have come to believe all these years. Sometimes people don’t want to be told anything else and that is fine. However, I will tell you that this is not how you check for the correct sizing of a shoe. For a half-thumb to full-thumb length check, it’s all hogwash.

You should always check how the arch area of your foot to the heel of your feet match up with the rest of the shoe. Many shoes will have some type of support or cushion built in and you should gauge your comfort level of the sizing with this first. Many will immediately notice if they feel pressure impacting the wrong spot of the foot. This usually leads to the heel not fitting or giving discomfort.

The reason you don’t use the thumb rule is that many shoes are going to have different toe box designs. A majority of shoes are not meant to fit your feet the way an orthopedic shoe will or some custom shoe may. Many shoes are designed as fashion styles and you’re feet are never going to fit just up before the edge of the toe box. That European chisel toe dress shoe you’ve been eyeing? Good luck trying to shove your toe up to that point.

Instead try on a few sizes, see what feels most comfortable on the midsole of your foot. Once you get that down, see how your heel nestles into back part of the shoe. Lots of lift in that heel? Then you probably need to go down a half size and then gauge that mid-part of your foot again. You’re going to have a much better experience on your next footwear shopping spree.

Top Shoe Myth #2: Can You Stretch the Length for Me Please?

Shoe lengths do not stretch! That is part of the reason why there are different shoe sizes out there and why lasts were invented. You can not stretch that toe box out to fit your big toe, you just bought the wrong size or that shoe does not work for you. Most people do not want to accept the fact the a certain shoe is not built for their foot. They want to force it to work out. Sorry, this is fat lie if someone tells you they can stretch out the length. The width of a shoe is a different topic and can be dealt with to a certain extent. Just never ask to stretch the length of a shoe please.

shoe stretch

Top Shoe Myth #3: The Higher the Price the Better the Shoe.

Uh no. This is a common myth from shoppers when flipping over shoe displays to compare prices. Yes, there are truths to better material being used or craftsmanship qualities that will bring up the value of the shoe. Factors like these will drive up the price point to a certain degree. However, most shoes are usually priced by marketing pull and brand appeal.

There is probably not much in production cost from a basic Nike Free to a Yeezy, but everybody wants that Yeezy so the pricing will differ dramatically. Marketing pays off for companies. People will pay higher prices for a shoe they want.

Try telling your average Joe Shmoe shoe shopper that the Maison Margiela Fusion Low-Top sneakers are worth $1700. They’ll probably just tell you they can make it themselves. To a footwear collector or avid brand loyalist they probably wouldn’t even hesitate at that price point. You pay for what you want. Price points never completely dictate the quality of the shoe.

Top Shoe Myth #4: The Lighter the Shoe the Better

I get it. The Cole Haan Zerograands feel like you’re walking barefoot. That’s great and I hope you enjoy the shoes. It does not mean that your feather-weight shoe is so much better than those Balenciaga Triple S sneakers sitting on the other shelf.

Shoes are all made of different materials and incorporate different technologies that will make a customer feel like they own the best shoe out there. That’s how you want a customer to feel, but in the end it does not mean that the shoe is better. In many scenarios lighter shoes tend to be less durable and give less support. Just from my personal experience and you’ll probably find that to be the case as well.

Top Shoe Myth #5: Your Shoe is Going to Last Forever

I love it when people expect their shoe to last five years and complain about how the shoes didn’t wear well. If you wear a shoe hard for a year without rotating it or maintaining it, then you should be happy your shoe got you that far. It did its job. The people who have a strong rotation of shoes, show their shoes love by giving them the proper care, or have a cobbler do some small repairs will have an extended life out of their shoes. I will say that most people who follow those standards will usually get 3-5 years out of their shoes.

Once again, like many consumer products out there, there is a certain lifespan and people should accept this. Even the most expensive of designer footwear will not last that long if you wear them as your everyday shoe. They may have more durable materials, but without the proper care you can very well wear them out within the year. Have realistic expectations with your shoe and know that you will have to replace them sooner than you expect if they’re your everyday shoe.

Conclusion to the Top 5 Shoe Myths

There are my answers to the Top 5 Shoe Myths I believe are always among the top in footwear discussions. I would love to hear your thoughts on these Top 5 Shoe Myths and what shoe myths you would like to share!

Anson Zong-Liscum

Lots of things interest me in this complex world. The things that have the biggest influence on my life however would be the creative world of fashion, mesmerizing art, the life-changing effects of traveling, the global world of cultural connections, and the way marketing effects all of us. It's an interesting world out there. Hit me up if you live in my world.

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