How to Pick your Exercise Shoes
May is Foot Health Month and what better way to be kind to your feet than having the proper footwear when working out. Here are some tips on how to pick the right shoes for exercising (and no, we're not just talking colours to match your workout gear!)
It's important to have a firm, flat grip on the ground when lifting weights. This ensures proper form and so your stance offers you a safe grip. Don't wear your high-tech, thick-soled running shoes in the weight room; stick with flat-soled shoes or barefoot-running styles to keep your weight-lifting routine safe and effective.
A cardio or strength-training class means you need supportive shoes. With the constant jumping and side-to-side shuffling, you need shoes that provide ample cushioning and support as well as grip. You may appreciate shoes with a wide toe box for optimal movement in class. Look for minimalist cross-trainers that offer arch and ankle support without the bulk; they are light enough to keep your feet from feeling heavy or overheated. Cross-training shoes are also great for people who have a varied workout routine or play different sports.
If you spend lots of time on the treadmill, you should invest in running shoes. Choose shoes that give you the support you need based on how you run; overpronators, for example, need shoes to keep their feet from rolling inward. Running shoes have additional cushioning to absorb shock as your foot hits the ground, which helps to reduce blisters. They are flexible and light. Traditional running shoes are designed for forward motion, so they don't support you well when you move in other directions (like playing basketball or doing aerobics).
General shoe shopping tips:
- Try on shoes after a workout or at the end of the day. Your feet will be at their largest.
- Wear the same type of sock that you will wear for exercising.
- When the shoe is on, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes.
- The shoes should be comfortable as soon as you try them on. There is no break-in period.
- There should be a firm grip of the shoe to your heel. Your heel should not slip as you walk or run.
- Shoes should be replaced every five to six months (or 400-600 miles of running/walking), depending on how often you use them. If the tread (on the outer sole) is worn or if the sides are worn to the point that your shoe leans one way or the other, it's time for a new pair.
- Get your shoes from a specialty store. The staff there can help you find the right pair based on your needs and how your run/walk