Here are some tips to make sure you are wearing shoes that will increase your efficiency in working out and not hinder it:
1. Proper Shoe Size: For the ideal fit, your big toe should be a thumbnail’s distance from the end of the shoe. That could mean that you go up one or two sizes from your casual shoes for your workout/running shoes.
2. Proper Shoe Type (Information from Webmd): “Running shoes have no lateral stability built into them because you don’t move your feet laterally when you run. You’re only going forward. A running shoe is built to give you support and stability as you move your foot through the running gait cycle,” says Joe Puleo, the author of Running Anatomy.
Puleo says basketball and tennis shoes both need to be stabilized laterally. That’s because you move your feet side to side a lot when playing these sports. “You can’t build a running shoe that has lateral stability,” he says, “and you can’t build a shoe for basketball or tennis that doesn’t have it.”
“A good cross-trainer will allow you to do the treadmill, some walking on asphalt or on a track, and light jogging,” says Kathleen Stone, past president of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “Not mileage, of course. But I like them for people who are doing a variety of athletic endeavors casually.”
To choose a good cross-trainer, Stone suggests you look for:
- A firm heel
- Good support (you shouldn’t be able to bend the shoe too easily)
- Light weight (you don’t want to add a lot of pounds to your feet)
But the APMA recommends that if you’re going to participate in a particular sport two to three times a week or more, you should choose a sport-specific shoe.
3. Proper Shoe Life: It’s easy to fall in love with your shoes so much that you don’t pay attention to the wear. Shoes have a shelf-life and it is important to replace your shoes on a regular basis, many times before they appear worn out.
If you’re exercising on a casual basis, you can make your shoes last a year, but if you’re working out every day, 6 months is they typical limit.
You should also have your shoe size rechecked every year. Foot size doesn’t stay the same; our feet tend to grow bigger as we age.