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Which athletic shoes work best?

July 31, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you're looking for a new pair of athletic shoes, you know they can vary widely in price. Food Coach Lori Corbin teamed up with Consumer Reports to test some of the latest shoes.Consumer Reports' testers checked out ten pairs each of men's and women's shoes. They cost anywhere from $28 to $110.

"Athletic shoes are different than running shoes. They're suitable for a variety of sports and athletic activities," said Peter Anzalone, Consumer Reports.

You can use them for aerobics, to run on the treadmill, or weight training. In addition to this stability test, conducted at an outside lab, the tester also wears reflectors as he runs on a treadmill. A computer then analyzes all the data to determine a shoe's stability.

In another test, a 19-pound weight is dropped on a shoe to see how well it will cushion your feet. Panelists also exercised in the shoes to size up the fit and flexibility.

"Fit is by far the most important feature, and we had a couple of the shoes that didn't perform so well," said Anzalone.

The men's and women's Reebok SmoothFit Mobile II Trainer fell into that category.

"The tongue was attached on one side and detached on the other, which meant you couldn't lace up the shoe as tightly as I wanted to," said Gayle Williams.

And many panelists didn't care for the women's Champion C9 Rocksie, which uses elastic bands to secure the shoe.

"My foot actually slipped out of the sneaker. There's absolutely no support because there's no shoelaces," said Odalys Grieco.

In the end, the ASICS GEL150 TR for both men and women came out on top. Both provide excellent fit and cushioning and cost $65.

No matter what type you buy foot experts suggest you get a new pair every 300 to 400 hundred miles or about four to five months which ever comes first.

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