Online shopping allows you to hunt for the best price, but it’s not easy to get the size right when buying shoes. Far from saving money, that online bargain could leave you with a wardrobe full of unworn shoes or foot and leg problems.

Six reasons why buying shoes online is not ideal:

1.     There is no such thing as standard shoe sizing. You may need one size in one brand and a different size in another

2.     How well a shoe fits depends on whether you have a narrow, average or wide foot. You may need to go up or down a half or full size based on the width of your foot

3.     You can’t tell if the shoe has enough support for your foot. This is very important when it comes to sports shoes. You need to be able to check if the midsole (the thick rubbery part of the sole) has the right balance of support and cushioning. Otherwise, you may end up with a painful and costly foot, knee or hip injury

4.     If you need to swap the shoes, you may have to pay for return shipping. If the shoes are a final sale item, you may be stuck with an expensive mistake in your wardrobe

5.     Buying kids’ shoes online can be very risky. Small children often can’t tell you their shoes are too small. Their nerves are not fully developed so the shoes may not feel that uncomfortable, even if they are putting pressure on their joints, bones and toenails

6.      It’s hard to tell if the shoe is right for your child’s stage of development, foot type and activity levels.  It’s worth paying a bit more to have your child fitted for shoes by an experienced shoe retailer.

Your podiatrist can give you tips on buying shoes and recommend the best type of shoes for your feet.