Articles from April 2009

Shoes

Choosing an athletic shoe can be a daunting task. There are shoes available in every size, shape, and color, designed for every different kind of athletic activity from golf to soccer to running. Regardless of the style of athletic shoe you are shopping for, most shoes are made of either leather or some kind of synthetic material.  Leather is durable, but tends to absorb water; you may find that more athletic shoes are made of newer, lighter, more durable material that help to keep your feet dry.

running shoes1 267x300 ShoesYou should always shop for a new athletic shoe before you will actually begin using the shoe; this way, you’ll have time to wear them around and make sure they are “broken in” before hitting the pavement and going for a jog or spending an hour in them at the gym.

When choosing shoes, depending on your activities, you may decide to buy specialized shoes for your activities (running shoes, walking shoes, aerobic shoes) or you may decide to sacrifice some specificity in order to save money and buy a nice pair of cross-trainers. Cross-trainers are designed to provide adequate support for a number of different fitness activities but will not provide the same support, say, for running, that an actual running shoe would provide.

To make sure the shoes will fit correctly, you should always shop for shoes late in the day.  Typically, feet swell slightly throughout the day, and this will make sure the shoes you buy are not too tight.  Try the shoes on with whatever athletic sock you wear to exercise.  Choose a sock that is comfortably cushioned and made of a moisture-wicking material.

Walk around, jump up and down, and mimic exercise activities in the shoes you are trying on.  Make sure they don’t rub or pinch your feet.  Your toes should have room to wiggle and your heel and the back of your foot should sit firmly in the shoe.  Lace the shoes snuggly; walk around with the shoes on for a while before making a decision.

Your feet are sometimes a most ignored part of your body, but if you get blisters or injure a foot, it will certainly derail your fitness plan.  Shoes may seem like an expensive investment – and you don’t have to get pulled into brand-name marketing ploys – but in the long run, buying a decent pair of athletic shoes is a wise investment.