Test Your Shoes Before You Buy
The heel counter test
A heel counter is the hard piece of material located at the back of the shoe that controls heel motion. It along with the shoes closure fixes the foot to the sole of the shoe.
Place the shoe in the palm of your hand and press down on the heel with your thumb. A good heel counter will not be able to bend easily.
The mid-foot bend test
A shoe should contain a plastic or steel midfoot shank to offer firm support for your foot.
Hold the shoe in both hands and attempt to bend it from the middle of the shoe. The more the shoe bends, the less supportive it will be. The shoe should only flex at the front where the ball-of-your foot sits because that’s where your toes bend.
The torsional stability test
Torsional stability is the side to side motion of a shoe.
Hold the shoe in your hand and twist if from side to side (with the toe of the shoe in one direction and the heel in the opposite direction).
A shoe with good torsional stability should not be able to twist very easily.
Many people who require orthopedic shoes also need custom foot orthoses. There should be a removable soft liner in the inside of your shoe. A shoe is better able to accommodate an orthotic if a large insole or the multiple insoles come out. Shoes without removable liners usually cannot accommodate foot orthoses.