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Tips to find the right fitness shoe

April 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Maybe you hit the gym three days a week, or you're a marathoner, or just a weekend warrior. Chances are, you don't give a lot of thought to your athletic kicks, and that's a big mistake. Here's a tutorial on how to choose your shoes.Fitness trainer Julia Morichelli says it is often the reason some suffer from shin splints, knee pain or plantar fasciitis.

"They come in with sneakers that they've probably had for a minimum of two to five years. They walk the dog in them, play with the kids in them, they go grocery shopping in them and then they decide to come in and workout in them," Morichelli said.

"The sneaker is completely worn down by the time they get to us, so they have absolutely no stability. They may as well be working out barefoot," she said.

At Run With Us in Pasadena, Mike Gonzales says it's imperative you get analyzed as to the type of foot you have. Once you know that, you or the expert can match the shape of the shoe to the shape of your foot.

"You only want to keep them at the most probably six months if you're using them on a regular basis," Gonzalez said.

High arches means the foot is rigid and doesn't have shock absorption, so the foot needs the most cushioning.

Medium arches tend to pronate a bit, so arches can fall and lead to pronation, and stability is required.

Then there's the flat foot that needs more motion control in the sole.

"It's important to go somewhere where they can look at your feet, analyze your gait and then pick out the correct type of shoe," Gonzalez said.

Once you know, you can check out closeouts or even big box sales for bargains.

Other tips? Try shoes on late in the day when feet are swollen, much like when you are exercising, and allow for a half to a whole thumbnail's pinch in the toe box.

"The best type of shoe to actually get that's the most versatile is a running shoe," Gonzalez said.

Even if you walk or cross train, running shoes have cushion in both forefoot and heel, working for most activities.

"Generally your gym shoes should be only for the gym," Morichelli said.

Both experts stress having a couple pairs to either alternate days, or keep one for a specific activity, which might save money in the long run.

"The shoes actually use a memory foam and each time you wear the shoe it compresses," Gonzalez said.

But give that shoe a day off, it will bounce back to its original state, lasting longer.

They say it's like getting three pair if you get two pair," Gonzalez said.

Get more information about athletic shoes from Run With Us


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