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Fitness ApparelWhich Shoes Should I Buy For Working Out?
What do time of day, choice of socks and your two feet have to do with choosing the right fitness shoes. Everything. Learn the basics of picking the right shoes for your feet.
There are so many choices right now on the fitness shoe market that it can be overwhelming to know which is right for you. There are shoes for running, walking, tennis, racquetball, hiking, biking… you get the picture. The key to a good exercise experience begins with your feet; find the right shoe and you are starting off on the right foot. This article will help you find your way through the maze of stores, brands and types of athletic footwear to come through it with the knowledge you need to make an educated choice. Once you have selected the perfect shoe, you need to know how long you can use it. It is as important to wear the proper footwear as it is to stop wearing it once it becomes a detriment to your physical wellbeing.
The right shoe will offer support of the entire foot; arches, heels, bones, muscles, everything. They will also allow for flexibility depending on where you need it for the activity you are going to participate in. Each activity will require specific support. For example, a running shoe will provide cushion at the heel and create a roll effect with each step from heel to toe. A tennis shoe will provide stability in the sides of the foot as a tennis player needs to stop and start in lateral movements. If you will be participating in a wide variety of activities but none too seriously, a cross trainer might be the right choice for you.
The following is a list of qualifiers for your “perfect” shoe:
Put on both shoes when you try them on, each foot is different in size.
Shop in the afternoon because your feet tend to swell later in the day and it will allow for better judgment of fit.
Be sure to wear the socks you will wear while exercising to try on your new shoes.
Walk around in the new shoes before you buy, make sure they support your foot and are comfortable.
Don’t buy based on price, buy based on material, comfort, and fit.
Athletic footwear does have a certain “life span”. Contrary to the belief that as long as the outer threads are still in tact and there is still rubber on the sole, the shoes are still viable, each pair of shoes actually has a number of uses and then should be replaced. The reason to replace your favorite, worn in, finally comfortable shoes is to decrease the likelihood of injury to your legs and body.
Most exercise footwear has a shelf life of about 500 miles. This is great if you are a runner but what if you take aerobic classes at the gym? How can you convert 500 miles of running into hours of jumping, stepping, or sliding? Phil Moore, conducted a study of fitness enthusiasts to see at what point their body started to feel the wear and deterioration of their shoes. What he found was a good measuring tool by which to judge hours in the gym and loss of effectiveness of your shoe. He found each aerobic or fitness class was about 5 miles worth of running. That means you should get about 100 classes out of your shoes, after that, you are at risk for shin splints, plantar fascia, knee injuries and heel problems. An easy formula to follow is:
Number of classes per week X 5 Miles X 4 (weeks per month) = Monthly mileage
3 Classes per week X 5 Miles X 4 Wks/ Mnth = 60
You are now ready to go! Hit the stores, find your perfect fit and start your new workout plan. Remember to consult a physician before you embark on a new exercise routine and have fun.
By Christina Leon, Staff Writer