5 Biggest Mistakes When Choosing Workout Shoes
The single most important piece of equipment in virtually any kind of exercise program — running, aerobics, hiking, tennis, basketball — is the right pair of shoes.
A good pair of sneakers can make or break your workout. And it’s easy to go wrong and hurt your feet.
Here are the five biggest shoe mistakes people make.
1. Grabbing Whatever’s Handy
“The biggest mistake people make when they start running, jogging, or some other exercise program is just reaching into the closet and pulling out an old pair of sneakers,” says Tracie Rogers, PhD, a consultant for the American Council on Exercise. An old pair of shoes may no longer have the support you need. And even more problematic, that pair of shoes might be inappropriate for the activity you choose.
2. Choosing the Right Shoe — for the Wrong Workout
You need to choose the right type of shoe for the kind of workout you’ll be doing.
“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.
However, even walking shoes differ from running shoes. So can’t you just get a good cross-trainer and use it for everything? Maybe, maybe not.
“There’s no specificity to them — you can’t do any one thing well,” Puleo says. “You can run a mile or two. But most of them are not very good shoes for any particular activity.”
Then again, some people aren’t heavily into running, hiking, biking or any one sport. They go to the gym occasionally and hit the treadmill or do aerobics. For them, a cross-trainer might be the best choice.
Notably, the American Podiatric Medical Association (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. Loving Them Too Much
“Your workout shoes should be your workout shoes and not your running-around-town shoes,” Rogers says. “You’ll break down a pair of shoes standing in them or wearing them to the mall and running errands much faster than when you’re running or exercising.” So buy yourself a pair of casual tennis for running around town, and stow your good workout shoes in the closet.
4. Loving Them Too Long
Another big mistake many people make with athletic shoes is not replacing them often enough.
“They think they should replace their workout shoes when they start looking bad,” Rogers says. “But shoes start to break down while they’re still looking good. The support — the reason you buy the shoe in the first place — is gone, and you’ll start feeling strange aches and pains in your feet, knees, hips, and back.
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 pretty much your limit. You should also have your shoe size rechecked every year,
5. Doing It Yourself
Unless you’ve been playing your sport for a long time and have learned exactly what shoe is right for you, it’s a bad idea to just walk into a sporting goods store, try on a few pairs of shoes, and walk out with what you think is best.
Instead, go to an athletic shoe specialty store to get an expert insight on the right shoe and the best fit. They’ll take three measurements — not just one — on the metal plate known as a Brannock Device that we’ve all seen in shoe stores. You need to know not just length but also width and arch length. It’s better to take the time to get set up right than be hurting later and not even working out at all.
Source not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/choosing-best-workout-shoes – 1