Monday, September 13, 2010

If the Shoe Fits!

I am asked quite often about shoes, but more importantly,I ask about shoes. If you were to mention to me that your knees were bothering you or your ankles felt a little
tight or your feet hurt, my question to you would be "How old are your shoes?" You won't believe the number of times the response has been "Oh, these aren't very old. I've only had them about a year." In my way of thinking, that is old for athletic shoes especially if they are worn every day. My first indication that my shoes are breaking down is my knees start to get sore after a workout. A pair of new shoes has always been a cure. I hope all of my knee issues are always that easy to fix. In the past I switched out my shoes for a new pair every 3 or 4 months. Recently I bought a pricey pair of New Balance and was told that they would last 6 months. I hope so!

Running expert Jason Karps, Ph.D., tells us that the right shoe depends on basically two things: your foot type (arches) and what it does on the ground (supination or pronation). He recommends the "wet test" to determine the first. It involves a little water and a brown paper shopping bag. You can actually go to to learn more about the "wet test". You might be lucky to find a good store or a good podiatrist for an evaluation of your feet. Regardless, you will have a little bit of information that should help you when shopping for a new pair of shoes.

There are a few other things to remember as well.
Buy from a store that guarantees proper fit and wearability.
Get fitted in the evening. Your foot is larger then.
Fitness shoes should feel comfortable without having to break them in.
Don't step on the backs of your shoes to remove them thus ruining the heels.
Keep them out of the dryer.

Price should not be the determining factor. I was taking a chance buying shoes at the discount department store even though they were name brand. On the other hand, the highest price is not always the best choice. Find a store that has a shoe that is good for you and it will be if it fits!

Source: "Your Feet, Your Shoes, Your Choices" by Alexandra Williams,MA, IDEA Fitness Journal, September 2010