For some people, shoes are a really big deal. An episode or two of MTV’s Cribs will show you that most A-listers have entire rooms dedicated to storing their shoe collections.
That said, selecting the right shoe for the right task, however, should be a big deal to everyone.
Selecting the right shoe for the right task, however, should be a big deal to everyone. You wouldn’t wear high heels on a hike through the woods or fuzzy slippers to a formal gala, but far too many people choose the wrong athletic shoes for their activities and exercises.
5 Tips for Athletic Shoe Shopping
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the shoe store. Whether you’re as talented as a pro athlete or just trying to change your couch potato ways once and for all, here are five important things to consider when shopping for athletic shoes:
1. Walking shoes are not the same as running shoes. Just as bowling shoes were made for bowling, walking shoes were made for walking. They are stiffer and sturdier than running shoes, which are a bit more flexible and cushioned to handle greater impact. There are specific athletic shoes for various types of sports court sports, like basketball and volleyball, require different shoes than field sports like hockey and baseball.
2. Measure your feet and try on the shoes. We all know that kids grow like weeds, but adults’ shoe sizes can change too. Just because you’ve worn an eight for the past ten years doesn’t mean that you still wear an eight. Weight gain or weight loss as well as other factors can make a difference in shoe size. Have your feet measured by a professional in the store, but most importantly, try shoes on before you purchase them. Sizes can vary by brand and shoe style. Feet tend to swell over the course of the day, so try on shoes in the evening, when feet are generally at their largest.
3. Wear your own socks when trying on shoes. It might be tempting to snag a pair of those disposable nylon footies out of the box when you try on running shoes, but you won’t be wearing those when you run, will you? Bring a pair of socks that you wear when you exercise so that you can wear them when you’re trying on the shoes that may be their companions.
4. Wiggle those toes! Regardless of the type of athletic shoes you’re purchasing, you should have enough room to move your toes. If you don’t, the shoes are too tight. This little piggy went to market
5. Breaking in your shoes? is a myth. Don’t buy a shoe that almost fits because you think you’ll break it in. (Yes, even if it’s on sale or too good a deal to pass up!) Shoes should fit properly from the first wear. If your feet hurt when you’re trying them on in the store, your feet will certainly hurt when you’re working out.
Wearing the wrong athletic shoe can lead to painful blisters, shin splints, lower back pain and various other ailments. Wearing the right shoe from the get-go can help you to avoid these common maladies. Make note, too, that shoes do wear out. Wearing old shoes with worn-out soles can cause just as many problems as wearing the wrong shoes!