Sneaker Savvy: What to Look for When Shopping for Athletic Shoes
September 7, 2019
If you workout several days a week, purchase new athletic shoes every three to six months. Or, if you have logged more than 500 miles on your shoes, it’s time to invest in a new pair. You may need to shop for shoes more often if you have a postural imbalance.
Have BOTH feet measured (while you are standing, not sitting) each time you purchase new shoes. If your feet are different sizes, always buy for the larger foot.
Shop for shoes immediately following a workout or in the evening when feet are swollen. Wear the same type of socks you wear while exercising.
Try on BOTH shoes in a pair for at least 20 minutes before purchasing them. Walk, run and jump around the store to simulate the activity required by your sport.
Consider arch height, cushioning, support, “breathability” of material and flexibility of the shoe.
Ensure that there is at least one thumb’s width of space from your longest toe to the end of the shoe. Have a sales person check this measurement for you. If you bend over to check it yourself, your foot’s position will shift.
Choose an athletic shoe made specifically for your sport.
Shop at athletic-shoe speciality stores that offer free consultations with injury-prevention specialists.
If you suffer from “weak” ankles, look for sneakers with built in “neoprene sleeves,” which work like ace-bandages to prevent ankles from wobbling.
If your sport requires cleats, look for the shorter, plastic variety. Longer spikes may cement your foot into the soil, causing excessive twisting at the knee and related injuries.
Forget the frills. Don’t be swayed by extravagant packaging or advertising campaigns. Instead choose shoes from companies that pour money into research and development, not splashy marketing.
If your sport requires heavy equipment – such as football gear or hiking packs – make sure to try on shoes while wearing the equipment.
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