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Men's Health

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How a Shoe Should Fit

WebMD Feature from "Esquire" Magazine

Esquire Magazine Logo Squeezing into a suit that doesn't fit? We've all done it. Squeezing into a shoe that's too tight? Murder. Here's what you need to know to keep your feet happy.


Esquire Magazine At the heel: This is the one place where your shoe may hurt initially, but fear not. It'll subside. Your heel should rest comfortably against the back liner without slipping.

At the instep: The tongue should rest lightly on the top of your foot, without the feeling of too much pressure. At the toe: Your longest toe should rest about a half inch from the front edge of the toe box. You should be able to wiggle your toes slightly.

At the arch: Extra support is fine here, but the shoe should not raise up so much that pressure is put on your arch.

The Shoe Glossary:

The 8 Shoe Terms You Should Know

Apron: A large overlay that covers the area where the toe meets the upper of the foot.

Goodyear welt: The sole and the upper of the shoe are stitched together (not glued), resulting in the strongest bond in shoemaking. Because of its construction, a Goodyear welt lends itself to resoling many times over.

Heel: The rear, padded area on the bottom of the foot, as well as the piece at the rear of the shoe that supports the heel cup. The heel should not slip on the wearer's foot.

Liner:. The inside covering of the shoe. Should always be leather, since that's what will be touching your foot.

Quarter: The rear of the shoe, including the heel, spanning to the back side seam of the exterior.

Toe box: The front portion of the shoe that covers the toes. Should have support protecting the toes and should be approximately a half inch longer than the length of the longest toe.

Tongue: A strip of leather running just under the laces of the shoe all the way to the opening, or throat.

Vamp: The front part of the shoe that includes the toe box and apron.



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