Athletic shoes are designed for particular activities. Choosing the right kind of athletic shoe – whether for cardio, strength or cross training exercises – can limit sports injuries and make your workouts more enjoyable.
“When it comes to buying athletic shoes there are a lot of options out there. So these days the task of finding the best pair has become more and more complicated, not to mention expensive. Avoid falling for the latest gimmick or trend. The key is going to the store with a plan.
Shoes are designed for specific activities so figure out beforehand what you plan on doing during your workouts. For example, shoes built for running are designed with more cushioning and are typically lighter than walking shoes. The treads are fairly smooth, built mainly for the road or pavement.
Walking shoes have a more flexible forefoot area because of the push-off motion from the toes.
Cross-training shoes tend to have more lateral support for side-to-side movement and deeper treads ideal for hiking and trail running.
Now that you’ve figured out what kind of shoes you need, here are a few shopping tips. Wear the socks to the store that you’ll be wearing with the new shoes. The weight and thickness will play a role in your fitting.
Get fitted for your shoes late in the day. Why? Because your feet expand during the day. In fact it’s not unusual to gain half a shoe size. You want to get fitted when your feet are at their biggest.
When trying shoes on you should be able to fit your index finger between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. If one foot is larger than the other, go with the bigger size.
Athletic shoes shouldn’t need a ‘break-in’ period, but they will start to lose their cushioning after 3 to 6 months of regular use and need to be replaced. Finally, spending more won’t necessarily buy you a better shoe. Shop around and be willing to ask questions. Your feet will thank you in the end.”