Your feet deserve a comfy ride—and we don’t mean special inserts or gels. Here are ways to make sure your footwear fits and remains feeling great…

Try on new shoes with bigger feet: Your feet tend to be one size in the morning and, as the day progresses, they get a little bigger. So it’s a good idea to shop for shoes as late in the day as possible. That way, you’ll be sure to buy shoes that will ultimately be more comfortable—day and night.

Take old running shoes shopping: Running sneakers are definitely not one style fits all! Podiatrist Jonathan Rose, DPM, advises that you take your old pair of well-worn running or walking sneakers to a knowledgeable athletic shoe salesperson and, based on how the treads are worn, he/she can select the best pair for you. Wearing the correct workout sneaker will protect against foot and leg injuries.

Take care how you store: Busy folk often just chuck their shoes, boots, sneakers and sandals to the bottom of their closets. That’s a recipe for squashed and misshapen shoes! Keep shoes off the floor…it’s an easy way to make sure they stay in good condition. You can find plenty above-ground storage tricks online. We like this easy craft for storing flip-flops and sandals.

Chill and stretch snug leather shoes: If you have a pair of leather shoes that would be more comfortable if they were just a little bit larger, do this. Place a sturdy plastic freezer bag in each shoe (or double two thin plastic bags). Next, carefully pour water into the bags so that each shoe is completely filled with water. Secure the plastic bags with a twist tie, rubber band or string, making sure that no water will escape. Then to protect the outside of the shoes from getting wet, put each shoe in another plastic bag. Place the shoes in the freezer for 24 hours. As water freezes, it expands. That expansion will stretch the shoes. A day later, when you take the shoes out of the freezer, you will need to let them thaw a little before you’re able to remove the shoe-shaped, ice-filled bags. A Texas rancher told us that he used this ice procedure on a pair of his cowboy boots and it worked great.

Loosen a tight spot: You love those pumps, but they don’t love you back! To temporarily ease a shoe’s tight spot, dab a little rubbing alcohol on the inside part of the tight area.

Keep tall boots tall: When you’re ready to put your tall boots away, slide an empty, clean and dry one- or two-liter plastic bottle into each leg. It’s best to store boots upright.

Rotate and stuff: Wear shoes on a rotating basis so that each pair gets a 24-hour breather. And if you’re the sweaty sort, stuff your shoes and sneakers with newspaper to absorb the moisture and help keep them in shape.

Thanks to and Jonathan Price, DPM, author of The Foot Book: A Complete Guide to Healthy Feet, for help with these tips.

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