Men in general are not renowned for their capabilities when it comes to shopping, but they seem even more hopeless when it comes to buying shoes. Ask a typical man what he looks for when shoe shopping, or what are his “deal breakers” and he’ll likely give you a blank look. For most men, it’s enough to choose a pair of shoes that look vaguely right for a certain purpose, are the right size number, and conform to a budget.

If this sounds like you, then chances are that some of the time you end up with unsuitable, uncomfortable, or generally unworthy shoes for your feet. Here are some tips for smarter shoe shopping in the future.

1. Consider the Need for Inserts

Putting inserts in your shoes is not just for those who want to look taller or who are fighting foot odour problems. You might well have the need one day soon for an orthotic insert, for example, to help relieve you of foot pain, to restore your proper balance, or to better support your feet and lower body after an injury.

Given that you could need inserts at any time, you should favour things like mens orthotic friendly shoes that will be ever ready to receive the addition without impacting the style or feel of the shoe in any bad way. Being ready for inserts also means you won’t have to go shopping all over again or throw out good shoes because they can’t take your inserts.

2. Always Prioritise Fit and Comfort

Whatever shoes you buy, you will likely be wearing them for long periods of time. Even if you’re just buying a pair of shoes for an upcoming event such as a wedding, you’re going to have to wear them all day long, so comfort matters. To ensure the best fit, a neat trick is to go shoe shopping in the afternoon or evening. Your feet naturally expand during the day, so trying on shoes later in the day means you can guarantee comfort and the best fit.

It’s best, if possible, to avoid the pursuit of fashion if you want to get better results for your shoe shopping. The world of fashion when it comes to footwear doesn’t tend to place any emphasis on comfort or on utility.

3. Shop Online for More Choices

Another common mistake men make is assuming that whatever is available in their local shops is all they can choose when it comes to footwear. These are the men who have either not yet discovered or have prematurely dismissed the joys of the online shoe store. Some are hesitant to buy shoes online because they feel they can’t try before they buy. It’s understandable, but shoe sellers online have rapidly developed systems where you can return footwear within a reasonable period of time if you find that they are the wrong size or fit for you.

What’s more, online shoe stores will provide detailed information about the shoes real dimensions, so if you get more familiar with what you need, then you can still find what you want online, and very quickly you’ll establish retailers whose sizes and styles fit you well, and you can enjoy a whole new online world of shoe styles.

4. Look Out for Bargains

Unlike some items that are sold at bargain prices, such as food and drink, you can have a good reason to buy cut-price shoes, and can often find amazing discounts. Discounted food and drink is usually on the turn and you buy it to consume right now, or else you’re just wasting money. Shoes are often sold at discounted prices for the same reason cars are — to make way for newer styles. We say take full advantage of this and buy high-quality shoes at terrific prices.