There are plenty of different shoes out there for you to choose from. So, how can you discern which of them are the best of the best? It’s not easy, but here are 6 things that you should check are present in a pair of shoes before you spend any money on them. Oh, and if any of these are absent in your current footwear, you’ve got even more reason to consider replacement shoes.

Sufficient space for your toes

When wearing shoes, your feet need a little bit of space in which to wriggle. Otherwise, those shoes could become uncomfortable over time. LIVESTRONG.COM says that, when you are wearing them, “there should be about 1/2-inch of space between your longest toe and the tip of your shoe.” However, also make sure that the shoes don’t just fall off the feet as you walk.

Enough length and width

This is crucial because too little length and width could make each shoe feel overly tight. Such tightness could lead to unnecessary pain in your feet. If you have one foot that is slightly bigger than the other, try a shoe on the bigger foot first. It’s also a good idea to test-wear shoes come the day’s end, when your feet are likely to have swollen to their largest size.

Non-occurrence of blisters and other annoyances

It’s a bad sign if, after having walked around in shoes, you find that you have picked up blisters and suffered such irritations as redness and cramping. It’s friction that causes blisters; therefore, if you get them while walking in shoes, a probable source of the problem is that the shoes are too small. Some shoes won’t adapt to your feet shape regardless of how far you walk wearing them.

A nice fit that hasn’t become too loose over time

Sometimes, with new shoes, you can make them a nicer fit by breaking into them. However, this ability of shoes to change shape with repeated use might not be so easy to appreciate in shoes that once fitted you brilliantly but have since overly loosened. If you find yourself with such footwear, perhaps due to weight fluctuations having affected your foot shape, it’s time to get new shoes.

A design that can impress the ladies

Don’t think women would pay attention to your footwear? Think again. In a column for The Telegraph, Jemima Lewis once remarked: “Even today, you can still tell a gentleman by his shoes”. She noted a portrait of a young Silvio Berlusconi sporting “exceedingly shiny, high-heeled boots”, which she deemed a sign of the future Italian Prime Minister’s vanity and corruption.

Resilience matched with a subdued look

Learn from Berlusconi by not going overboard with how your footwear looks. The UK-based clothes store Dickies Life offers boots that are tough while still coming in such subdued colors as brown and chestnut. Buy a set of boots from the selection here, and you can also prevent people getting hit by excessive shininess upon seeing your footwear.