If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit DON'T Wear It!
Your feet work hard every day. If you neglect them, especially for your exercise, it you will end up on the side lines, instead of participating. One of the best ways to care for your feet is to invest in a good pair of exercise shoes.
For best success go to a reputable athletic shoe store and/or a podiatrist to get fitted and obtain recommendations for brands and models. You also may need orthotics based on the podiatrist’s expertise.
Proper Shoe for the Job
Lifestyle tennis shoes are not made for exercise activities and do not have the needed support and soles. Wearing them can lead to injury. Use them for errands or casual wear, but not exercise.
The three main considerations for getting the right fit are:
- Size: length should have ½ inch of space from your longest toe to the end of the shoe while standing. The width at the mid-foot needs to be wide enough not to constrict or rub. Make sure the toe box has enough depth and width so you have “wiggle room.” The heel should be snug enough so it doesn’t slip.
- Stability: depending on your arch and how your foot strikes and tracks you may need a shoe built for stability, motion control or cushioning.
- Style: exercise shoes are made for specific activities. You can walk in a running shoe, but should not use walking shoes for running. Running shoes are lighter and have more cushioning; a walking shoe is heavier and stiffer. A hiking shoe is heavier, more durable and protective, and may have increased ankle support. Aerobics shoes and basketball-type shoes are made for lateral movement and not for forward movement like running and walking shoes.
- Shoes should be replaced every 5-6 months or 400-600 miles of running or walking
- When trying shoes on wear the same type of socks that you wear when exercising
- Shop later in the day, when your feet tend to swell and be 'larger'
- Never buy exercise shoes that immediately feel too tight
- Try both shoes on and walk or jog in them - or check them out for your specific activity
- If you have orthotics be sure you place them in the shoes when you try them on
Success with your exercise can be greatly enhanced with the correct foot wear and fit!