Find the right shoe for you. A mix of comfort, style is possible

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By Beth LeBlanc | Times Herald
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Lifestyle

You can’t put your best foot forward this fall without the right type of shoe — both in terms of style and comfort.

Mallory Adamski, assistant manager at the Roseville Designer Shoe Wharehouse, said shoppers can choose between glam and the Old West this fall.

Western inspired fashions are flooding shoe stores with cowboy boots, moccasins and animal prints.

Shoppers also can find some glitzed-up statement pieces this fall. Get ready for vibrant colors, glitter, stones, lace and buckles to decorate your toes — this season is about personal style, Adamski said.

“It’s all about trying on what you like and what works for you as far as comfort,” she said.

Comfort and support are the buzzwords when it comes to shoes, Maureen Muzzarelli said.

Muzzarelli is director of physical therapy at Orthopedic Associates in Port Huron. She has a simple method for finding the right shoe.

“Basically, the best shoe is the shoe that will provide the most amount of support for your foot,” Muzzarelli said.

There are three areas of the foot that require support, Muzzarelli said: the ankle joint (talus), arch (longitudinal arch), and heel (calcaneus) of your foot.

If these three areas are not in alignment, the body starts to overcompensate by stretching ligaments and tendons, Muzzarelli said. Those stretched ligaments and tendons can result in heel spurs, tendonitis, bunions or hammertoes.

If you want to avoid these painful problems, the best shoes for full support are running shoes.

“Make sure to wear them whenever you’re exercising,” Muzzarelli said.

If you’re still uncomfortable with the fit of your shoe, Muzzarelli recommended an orthotic insert.

As for heels and sandals, Muzzarelli said to “just be smart about it.” Wear them minimally and only if you know you won’t be doing a lot of walking.

Tevas and Birkenstocks provide the most support when it comes to sandals. Muzzarelli said the arch support and wide upper segments of the sandals make for a comfortable fit.

Muzzarelli said she hasn’t found any heels that provide ideal support.

However, if you still can’t kick your love for heels, Muzzarelli said many orthopedists make fashion orthotics that can fit inside dress shoes or heels.

“You give up some control when you make this kind of orthotic because they’re smaller, but it’s better than nothing,” Muzzarelli said.

Whatever your choice in footwear, remember that style and comfort can be compatible this season.

Contact Beth LeBlanc at (810) 989-6259 or eleblanc@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @THBethLeBlanc.