When buying shoes it is sometimes difficult to tell if you are looking at a shoe that will give you good support. Name and price don’t always ensure quality. Here are four quick tests you can do to help pick out the pairs to try on. Ultimately, after that, comfort on wearing is the most important factor. (The instructions refer to a foot that over pronates, since most people do this, these instructions will fit for the majority of people.)
Test 1: the “Heel-Counter Thumb” Test
This is the first of the tests to check for heel-counter rigidity. A stiff heel counter is extremely important. In this test, one holds the shoe in one hand, while they use the thumb of the other hand to push in on the posterior aspect of the heel-counter. In a shoe not designed to assist over-pronation problems, this aspect of the upper of the shoe will fold very easily. A good shoe on the contrary will not fold at all.
Test 2: The “Heel-Counter Pinch” Test
This is the second test to check for heel-counter rigidity. In this test, one holds the shoe in one hand while they squeeze the lateral and medial sides of the shoe with the index finger and thumb. In a shoe not designed to assist in over-pronation problems, the sides of the upper will fold over very easily. A good shoe on the contrary will not fold at all.
Test 3: The “Dish-Rag” Test
This test is designed to determine the integrity of the midsole material. To do this test, one grips the front part of the shoe with one hand and the back part of the shoe with the other hand. The two hands then twist the shoe in opposite directions. A good shoe will be resistant to these forces. A poor shoe will fold up like a “dish-rag”.
Test 4: The “Fold” Test
The shoe should be able to fold at the ball of the foot. This allows for a proper toe-off during the propulsive phase of gait. However some shoes will fold not only at the toes, but anywhere along its length. There is a lack of stability if the shoe folds in the middle.