Do we really need a different pair of athletic shoes for each activity we participate in? Ideally, yes. Depending on what sport we enjoy or what exercises we do, shoes can serve a variety of different purposes. If you must have only one shoe for economical reasons, then a basic running shoe would be your best bet. Finding the right shoe is crucial for performance and injury prevention.
Shoes protect our bones, joints, and muscles and absorb shock to prevent us from fractures and other foot problems like bunions and calluses. Don’t buy the most inexpensive shoe you can find, find something durable and long lasting with a soft cushioning and a supportive sole. I have been told by podiatrists that if you can bend the bottom in half, it is does not provide sufficient support.
If you are in the market for a new pair of shoes, going to just any store can be very overwhelming but there are some things you can do to ensure the best shoe purchase for your needs. If you are a woman with wide feet, opt for a men’s sneaker. Shoes should conform to the natural shape of the foot, but you should leave about a ½ inch between your longest toe and the top of the shoe, which should also be the widest part.
A good rule of thumb on the life expectancy of a pair of sneakers- Running shoes need to be replaced generally every 3-6 months or after 500 miles, walking shoes after 1,000 and aerobics shoes after 1 year. When you are trying on shoes keep an open mind and explore other brands other than what you have always worn. Try on both shoes because foot sizes vary and try them on in the afternoon when you’re foot is the largest.
If you have a high arch or are a walker, it would be best to have extra flexibility in front of the shoe. Try to determine if you have an under or over pronated foot by getting a foot analysis at a specialized shoe store. You can even do it yourself by examining the impression on the cushioning in an old pair of shoes. Leave your fashion sense at the door, and go for comfort instead.