Weekly Wellness: Choosing the Right Athletic Shoes

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COLUMBIA- It probably won’t be a surprise to you that January is one of the best times to buy athletic shoes. With the new year can come resolutions for lifestyle change – including more exercise. So, retailers will take advantage of this peak in activity and usually have sales on shoes and athletic apparel.

Not all athletic shoes are the same. Shoes are made specific for the activity they are to be used for. If you are in the market for some new athletic shoes, here are some tips to make sure you get exactly what you need:

Don’t make shoes multitask. Walking shoes are made stiffer than running shoes. Running shoes are made more flexible with extra cushioning to handle more impact, etc.

Know your foot. Feet come in a variety of shapes. You need to take into account your arches (or lack), whether you overpronate, supinate. Do you need more of a stability shoe?

Feet change. As we age, our feet change. So, we need to measure our feet frequently.

Shop towards the end of the day. Feet swell over the course of a day (and they also expand while exercising) so we want to choose shoes that will fit our feet at their largest.

Bring your own socks and orthotics. If you wear a specific type of sock, bring it to try on with the new shoes. Also, if you wear orthotics, we want to make sure they work in those shoes too.

“Breaking them in” is a myth. Shoes should feel comfortable as soon as you put them on. Walk around the store to make sure they feel good in action.

Understand the features of your shoes. Models of shoes have specific features for specific needs. Extra cushioning, shock absorption, etc.

Don’t overpay or underpay. A good quality shoe is going to be more expensive – and worth it (generally speaking). However, if a shoe is associated with a celebrity, they may be pricier due to the name association.

Know when to replace them. Most shoes are meant to be replaced after 350-400 miles of use. If monitoring the mileage isn’t something that you’ve been doing, go by how the shoes look and feel. Look for worn out areas, and pay attention to whether they feel uncomfortable or less supportive.

Following this guidance will help you to get exactly what you need. However, we are also very luck here in Columbia to have a few stores that have staff who are trained to help you determine your needs. Specialty stores like Fleet Feet and Tryathletics are more than merely retailers. They know shoes and they know feet. If you’re struggling to find what will help you reach your goals, visit these establishments.

(Source: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-choose-athletic-shoes#1)