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Very good write-up, thanks for sharing. As some leaning into the Bozo range of shoe sizes, I find pull-on boots to be difficult. Slip-on shoes are also problematic, as they will not stay seated on my feet. Lace-up is my go-to, and mostly sneakers. For long-standing shop work, I found emulating the grassy / loamy surface a better option for me. 

One day, I'm going to drop my mortising chisel and pin my foot to the rubber mat, but until then, I avoid steel toes like the plague.

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13 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

One day, I'm going to drop my mortising chisel and pin my foot to the rubber mat, but until then, I avoid steel toes like the plague.

Never thought about the top of my feet. Guess I’d better quit using chisels. :huh:

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My family owned and operated a shoe store for decades. The store was renowned for getting a good fit. A good fit is still hard to come by if your size is something other than a popular size. The higher priced shoes may make a variety of sizes but will the retailer stock them? Frequently not as the turnover is much slower. And if they stocked odd sizes then you would need clerk to know how to measure a foot. And most don't know how. The shoes that are priced and bought by the majority never have anything but popular sizes. And therefore quite a few people go through life with shoes that do not fit.

The key to a good fit is matching the ball of the foot to the ball of the shoe. Possible get a good fit in medium to lower priced shoes if you have feet that are a popular size and get measured correctly. Bunions are formed from misfitting over a lifetime. People think bunions are hereditary. Not true. Narrow or wide feet are hereditary. And being misfitted with odd sizes that are the hereditary link.

I have been wearing Teava sandals almost exclusively for the last 15 years. I like them because it is easy to get fit due to all the adjustments they have. This provides me no protection from falling objects on my feet. But the fit is perfect and provide good cushion. And compatible with a warm climate like Florida. A trade off and risk I am willing to take.

Working in the yard I wear wetsuit short boots. I added an innersole for cushion and fit. Keeps my feet from having dirt in my toe nails. And I keep yard work at a minimum.  If it gets cold I wear socks with my sandals. If that is not enough then it is too cold to be out.

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16 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Very good write-up, thanks for sharing. As some leaning into the Bozo range of shoe sizes, I find pull-on boots to be difficult. Slip-on shoes are also problematic, as they will not stay seated on my feet. Lace-up is my go-to, and mostly sneakers. For long-standing shop work, I found emulating the grassy / loamy surface a better option for me. 

One day, I'm going to drop my mortising chisel and pin my foot to the rubber mat, but until then, I avoid steel toes like the plague.

@wtnhighlander you might consider using something like "Lock Laces" (US $10/pair). They're elastic laces with a little spring lock like those used on drawstrings. They effectively turn lace up boots into slip on boots. Undo the little spring lock and you'll be able to kick off your boots without losing your socks in the process! :D 

@curlyoak you make excellent points. I worked at a running shoe store in college (different job from the running shoe manufacturer) and one thing that that particular vein of shoe retail tends to hide from customers is that, by and large, the more expensive shoes are intended for heavier runners. The running shoe industry considers a "heavy" runner to be 160 lbs which I still find pretty funny, but I digress. I had customers, particularly super skinny high mileage female runners, who insisted on buying the highest end shoes despite advising them that those shoes were suboptimal for their builds and needs. I worked there long enough to have a lot of repeat customers, and a lot of them came back and tried the middle-of-the-road or cheaper models and were much happier because they were actually a more appropriate product for them. Sometimes it takes a lot of convincing for people to understand that paying the most for something doesn't automatically make it the best for them. 

 

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19 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

Very good write-up, thanks for sharing. As some leaning into the Bozo range of shoe sizes, I find pull-on boots to be difficult. Slip-on shoes are also problematic, as they will not stay seated on my feet. Lace-up is my go-to, and mostly sneakers. For long-standing shop work, I found emulating the grassy / loamy surface a better option for me. 

One day, I'm going to drop my mortising chisel and pin my foot to the rubber mat, but until then, I avoid steel toes like the plague.

I was out in the shop doing some quick work in birkenstocks on Sunday, and managed to drop my chisel twice. Luckily didn't hit my foot or damage the chisel, but you'd think I'd learn.

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9 hours ago, VizslaDad said:

Sometimes it takes a lot of convincing for people to understand that paying the most for something doesn't automatically make it the best for them. 

A large minority of people wear the wrong size shoes. A small majority have a popular size and can easily get fitted. Far more important in running shoes, or any shoes for that matter, is the fit than the specific style of running shoe. Especially since so many people don't wear their right size. Once properly fitted a more specific style can be considered. But in many cases a slightly imperfect style is far better if it gives a better fit. If you do not have a popular size and you need a shoe wider or more narrow, most of the time to get that odd size you must pay up. In the middle and lower price range the full range of sizes is not manufactured.

9 hours ago, VizslaDad said:

the more expensive shoes are intended for heavier runners.

The most expensive shoes sometimes are the only choices if you need a size that is not popular or common. True for a large minority.

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9 hours ago, Mark J said:

A sad reality for such an important article of clothing.

The most common problem from misfit shoes shows up in a few years. Bunions. Wide feet are sold longer with a medium width, narrow feet get shorter and to wide shoes too often. When fit too long or short, the ball of the foot does not match the ball of the shoe ( the widest part). That over time breaks down the metatarsal arch located on the bottom of the foot behind the toes. Then next is the bunion. Most people think the bunion is hereditary. Wrong. Wide or narrow feet are hereditary. To make matters worse, a bunion has a nasty impact on the spine. Moral of the story, make sure your shoes fit.

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18 hours ago, VizslaDad said:

The rule of thumb is one can enjoy the working life of three pair of shoes worn every day out of two pair simply by alternating them.

Interesting I rotate between 3 pairs not for that reason but for smell and to help my shoes dry out (i have sweaty feet). This has been a good shoe learning experience.

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