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How to Choose the Right Shoes for Your Workout

How to Choose the Right Shoes for Your Workout

The right footwear is essential to an active lifestyle and can help to prevent blisters, calluses and foot, ankle or leg injuries. These tips can keep you a step ahead by helping you choose the right shoes for your feet and your workout.

Shop at a specialty shoe store.

There are a host of athletic shoes on the market, with different types of shoes made for different types of activities, such as trailwalking, cross-training, running or tennis. Within each category, there are shoes made for different levels of support and to meet varied pronation needs. Finding a comfortable shoe that meets your exact requirements can be tricky, so it’s best to consult an expert at a specialty athletic shoe store. The shop’s knowledgeable staff can measure your feet, analyze your gait and recommend specific shoes for your needs.

Take the time to test out shoes.

When you head to the store to buy a new pair of shoes, don’t be in a rush and follow these steps:

  • Tell the staff what you’ll be doing in the shoes. If you participate in a sport 3 or more times per week, you need a shoe specific to that sport. If you’re a runner, for example, you’ll need different shoes than if you play soccer or spend your leisure hours kickboxing.
  • Bring your old shoes with you. The wear on your old shoes tells the staff a lot about how you wear and wear out shoes and can help them choose a shoe that best needs your individual needs.
  • Get fitted for shoes at the end of the day. This is when your foot is the largest. If you buy shoes early in the day, you may find they’re uncomfortable later in the day as your feet swell.
  • Wear athletic socks, specifically the type you will wear with your new shoes. This will give you the best indication of how comfortable they’ll feel.
  • Know that shoes should be comfortable as soon as you put them on. You shouldn’t need to break them in.
  • Make sure you can wiggle your toes. A good rule of thumb is that the width of your thumb should fit in the gap between your big toe and the tip of the shoe.
  • Take the shoes for a test spin. Some stores allow you to run in a pair of shoes before committing to them. If this isn’t an option, just take a few laps around the store in your new kicks.

Replace shoes often. 

Shoes wear down with use, so you’ll need to replace them periodically. Everyone wears out shoes differently but use these numbers as a general guide of when to replace shoes:

  • 300 to 400 miles of running
  • 500+ miles of hiking
  • 45 to 60 hours of basketball, dance or tennis
  • 300 hours of aerobic activity

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