Choosing The Proper Exercise Shoes
There really is a shoe for just about everything and with the dozens of exercise shoes on the market today, deciding which type to buy can sometimes be confusing . There are so many options that choosing the right pair has become increasingly complicated . Following these guidelines will help you make an educated footwear decision guaranteed to result in happy feet and an extra spring in your step .
Know What You Need When shopping for athletic shoes, your first step is to determine the sport or activity you need them for . Most sports goods stores carry a variety of shoes designed for specific activities such as running, walking, tennis, basketball and aerobics . Multi-purpose shoes called cross-trainers may be a good bet if you plan to combine several activities, such as bicycling, walking and strength training . once you have decided on your shoe, it’s important to know how to get a good fit .
Guidelines for Buying Shoes
- Point of Purchase: Choose a store with a large inventory and knowledgeable sales staff It will provide a wide variety of shoes and sizes and staff trained to help you make the right decision .
- Support: one of the first questions the sales staff will ask you is about your pronation . What’s that? Well, the natural inward roll of the foot that occurs on every step is called
“pronation” and it’s fine . But if you over-pronate, meaning your foot rolls or your feet roll in too much, you could develop arch strain and pain on the inside of the knee .on the other hand, if your foot rolls too much to the outside, that is under-pronation and you are more susceptible to ankle sprains and stress fractures . You can determine your personal foot mechanics by checking to see if your everyday walking shoes lean in or out at the heels when you set them side by side on a flat surface . The wear on the soles is also a good indication . Some exercisers find they require custom-moulded orthotic shoe inserts to exercise comfortably .
- Comfort: Your arches should feel supported and the heel snug . There should be a half inch, or the width of your index finger, between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe . There should be no pressure points .
- Cushioning: Jump up and down, jog on the spot and try some stride jumps . Don’t worry about looking goofy in the store . You’ll look even goofier if those expensive shoes start pinching ten minutes after you get to the gym . Also be sure that the shoe provides cushioning from any jarring movements .
- Stability: Test forefoot stability by jumping on your toes and rear foot stability by feeling if your heel rolls inward or outward . Evaluate lateral stability by jumping side to side .Your feet should stay centred in all cases .
- Outsole Traction: Walk on a surface comparable to the floor or carpet you exercise on . Ensure that the shoe glides and pivots well and does not slip or snag . Remember that athletic shoes no longer require a break-in period . They should feel comfortable and supportive during your first workout so don’t buy shoes that don’t feel right assuming that they’ll ease up and quit pinching after a few wears .
If you wear athletic shoes two to four times per week you can expect their cushioning and support to last four to eight months . For runners, shoes need to be replaced after approximately 500 miles . It is important to be aware of when your shoes have outlived their usefulness because if they are no longer absorbing the pounding action of the sport, your knees and ankles may be more prone to injury .
Finally, you may have noticed that the simple canvas exercise shoe of the past has been replaced by high-tech, state-of-the-art athletic gear . Be sure to consider both your budget and your fitness needs before spending a small fortune on shoes . Many manufacturers make quality shoes without the high price tag, so shop around . Just apply our shoe buying principles to determine what is best for you.