Choosing The Right Athletic Shoe

Generic_ShoeChoosing the right athletic shoe is one of the most important workout decisions you will make. Proper-fitting sports shoes can enhance performance, prevent injuries and provide the comfort you need to enjoy staying active.

You might know this, but choosing the right footwear is important for musculoskeletal function. The right shoe can help prevent pain in the back, hips, knees, and feet.

The following points will help you choose properly fitting athletic shoes.

Find the Right Shoe

  • There is no such thing as the best shoe for everybody. Every pair of feet is different and choosing the right shoe for your comfort and that fits the way your body performs is a very personal decision.
  • If you have flat feet, consider shoes with firm midsoles, which don’t twist or bend easily. Stay away from highly cushioned, highly curved shoes.
  • For those with high-arched feet, the best choice is flexible, cushioned shoes. Avoid stability shoes, which reduce foot mobility.



Shoe Purchasing Tips

When purchasing athletic shoes, it is important to match the shoe to the type of activity you will be doing while wearing them.

Running shoes are primarily made to absorb shock as the heel strikes the ground. In contrast, tennis shoes provide more side-to-side stability. Walking shoes allow the foot to roll and push off naturally during walking, and they usually have a fairly rigid arch, a well-cushioned sole and a stiff heel support for stability.

Follow these tips when making your athletic shoe purchase:

  • If possible, shop at a specialty store. Employees at these stores are often trained to recommend a shoe that best matches your foot type and stride pattern.
  • Shop late in the day or after a workout, when your feet are at their largest. Wear the type of socks you usually wear during exercise, and if you use orthotic devices for postural support, make sure you wear them when trying on shoes.
  • Have your feet measured every time, because foot size often changes with age. Measure your feet while standing in a weight-bearing position because the foot elongates and flattens when you stand, affecting the measurement and the fit of the shoe.
  • Choose shoes for their fit, not by the size you’ve worn in the past. The shoe should fit with an index finger’s width between the end of the shoe and the longest toe. The heel of your foot should fit snugly against the back of the shoe without sliding up or down as you walk or run.

The most important thing to remember when buying athletic shoes is that every foot is different. It is crucial to buy the right shoe for your feet and for the activity you will be doing.

Because footwear is important for musculoskeletal function—especially for athletes and others who spend a lot of time on their feet—choosing the right shoe can help prevent pain in the back, hips, knees, and feet. Having a properly fitting shoe will help keep you comfortable and motivated to stay active.