Selecting the Right Workout Shoes

Selecting the correct workout shoe is critical to reducing the risk of injury during exercise.  Exercise shoes can affect the whole body from the ankles up through the back.  When choosing the correct athletic shoes consider the following 8 tips:

1.      Pick the correct shoe for the specific activity. The forces on your body from different activities can influence the structure, support and cushion of the shoes.  One shoe does not fit all.

2.      Know your feet. Most major shoe brands manufacture different shoes for every foot type. It’s a good idea to do a “wet foot” test to identify foot type. Wet the bottom of the foot, step on brown paper, and trace the print. The most common foot types are over pronation, supination and neutral.

3.      Measure your foot often, while standing, and at the end of the day.  It’s a myth that feet don’t change size, and they can be larger later in the day.

4.      When shopping for shoes, bring your own socks. Specifically, the ones you typically wear when you exercise. Also, bring any orthotics you may wear.

5.      Use the rule of thumb.  The distance between the big toe and end of the shoe should be about a thumb’s length, roughly 3/8-1/2 inch.

6.      Understand the shoe’s features. Don’t let the features such as inserts and shock absorption lead to a preventable injury.

7.      Don’t over or underpay.  Expensive is not always best, but cheap may not be better. What is most important is the quality of the shoe.

8.      Know when to replace your shoes. One of the best ways to determine if it is time to replace is to go by how shoes look and feel. Do not delay when it is time!