This is a question I get asked a lot. So here are my thoughts:
Vary your shoes. Different shoes will allow the muscles in your feet to work in a variety of ways. This includes going barefoot. Walk barefoot at home, and when you can, kick your shoes off outside. Walk barefoot (or in socked feet) over gravel, bigger rocks, a sandy beach. This might be uncomfortable, but it’s great practice to strengthen those feet.
Wear the most minimal that you can get away with in any situation, most of the time.
Find a pair of shoes that look similar to the shape of your feet. Ones that allow your toes to spread out and have some room. Socks are important too. Make sure that your socks fit your feet, and allow for room to wiggle!
Minimize your time in heels. **Heels are any shoe with the heel higher than the toe bed. *** You can’t go from a built out shoe to a minimal shoe over night. This takes time, otherwise it will cause injury. The muscles in your feet need time to adapt and strengthen – remember the golden rule: gradual progress.
Bend the shoe you’re about to buy. Can you bend you it? Does it flex? Your foot does, so take that into consideration. Also, if you can, take out the insole. Place your foot on that and ensure that your foot fits inside the lines all the way around – even better if you’ve got a little wiggle room.
Wear shoes that feel good. End of story.