It’s very important to choose the right kind of shoes for your exercise regimen. A wrong pick could result in aching heels, shin splints and other sensations of discomfort. While experienced staff in a shoe store can help you to choose the right kind of shoes, here are some things for you to keep in mind while buying exercise shoes for yourself.
Be sure about the task for which you are buying the shoes
Walking shoes have a stiff sole and overall design structure, while running shoes have a flexible layout and have an extra layer of cushion meant for absorbing greater impact. Therefore, if you are planning to follow both modes of exercise, then its wise to invest in two different pairs of shoes that are suited for the two different activities.
Know the specific characteristics of your feet
You can pick the most appropriate pair of shoes for your workout if you are aware of the shape of your feet. You can find it out yourself by doing the ‘wet’ test, where you wet your feet and then step onto a brown paper sheet, and trace the outline.
If you see that the outline is even on all sides with no indication of an arch, it means that you have flat feet and have a tendency towards overpronation. It simply means that your feet tend to roll inwards. This type of condition tends to cause wear and tear on the inside forefoot and outside heel. If your feet have such a shape, then it is best to buy a pair that provides maximum support, and comes with motion-control features.
On the other hand, if the sketch shows an outline of the heel and forefoot, with a thin line of connection between them, it means that your feet tend to roll outwards and have a condition known as overpronation, where the maximum wear takes place on the sides and outer edges. In such cases, buy cushioned shoes with soft midsoles.
If the arch is neutral, and the sketch is more-or-less even on all sides, then the wear and tear takes place equally on all sides. In such cases, see that the pair of shoes you buy provide both support and comfort.
Know your foot size
It is a common misconception that the size of your feet stabilizes once you become an adult. Therefore always measure your feet before you buy a pair of shoes. Also, there is no standardized shoe size, and they vary from brand to brand. Therefore, always buy shoes that fit, rather than being obsessed with the size.
Put “purchasing shoes” right at the end of the list of your day’s agenda
The constant activities of the day often result in swelling of feet at the fag end of the day. Therefore, it is best to buy shoes at the end of a day so that you can ensure that the size you pick can accommodate your feet even in the swollen state.
Always wear socks while checking out the size
It’s important to ensure that your shoes fit your feet even while you are wearing socks. Therefore, always remember to wear your socks, or carry them with you when you are going to make a shoe purchase.
Walk in your new shoes to ensure that they are comfortable
Before making the final purchase, always remember to walk across the store and check on the comfort level of the shoes. Buying them in a rush will only result in aches and a variety of other problems.
Give importance to thumb spacing
While the heels should fit tightly so that the shoes don’t slip off while you are walking, there should be at least ½ inch of space between the front of the shoe and the biggest toe. Take care to ensure that he front of the shoe allows enough space for you to move your toes, and does not fit too tightly to hurt your toes.
Understand the whistles and bells
Some models might actually look as if they have been designed for a space mission, but the features are actually helpful in providing comfort and support to your feet. The gel-filled inserts and Freons help in effective shock absorption. While these shoes are good for people with heel pains, those who tend to twist their ankles easily should avoid them, as they do not provide sufficient traction.
Some shoes come with pump up features, which allow customized fit to people who have difficulty in finding the right shape and size.
Don’t be too stringent or liberal with your money
Walking and running shoes are designed to meet particular needs of customers and are priced accordingly. But its best to conduct a survey before buying one, as celebrity brands will charge an excessive amount of premium which can be avoided by opting for a more local brand. It best to opt for quality over the brand name. Branded shoes might just end up costing you more without being very different from a local brand as far as features are concerned.
Replace them at the right time
Running shoes should be ideally replaced after 350-400 miles of running. Once the sole wears out and the shoe does not provide as much support and comfort, then it is time to replace it.
Just like physical exercise helps to maintain your health, so also the right pair of shoes help to maintain the health of your feet. Therefore, spend time to choose the correct pair of shoes that meet your requirements.