Determine the type of arch you have before choosing your athletic shoes as not all are made to fit every type of arch. One way to do this is to moisten your feet then place your feet on a sheet of plain paper. You can tell your arch type based on the wet and dry portions of the paper. If you have a flat arch, most of your footprint will show up on the paper. If you have a high arch, then you will not see the middle of the print. This helps you discover the right fit.
If you play sports, it is important that you select shoes that were made for that particular sport. This is because each of these shoes provides the support needed to help the foot while it is playing. For example, running shoes often have extra arch support due to the bending of the foot.
The type of arch you have should help determine the type of shoes you buy. Whether you have a high arch or a flat foot, you may need to buy shoes with a built-in arch support. Arch support cushions can be added to shoes you already own. Wearing flats may cause more arch pain than wearing heels.
If your feet have been aching you lately, it may be time to buy new shoes. Make sure that the shoes you buy will have the proper support that your feet require. For example, it is a good idea that your gym shoes have a good arch support to help give you extra comfort.
Flats are not necessarily better than high heels in terms of being better for your feet. They can often cause as many problems with your feet as high heels do. Flat soles can cause feet to roll inward when walking. If you want to buy flats, try looking for some that have contoured footbeds or arch support built in to keep feet stable.