Selecting the Right Pair of Workout Shoes

First, a learning moment: A long time ago, when I was just a snot nosed 14 year old who took up running, I learned a valuable lesson. My friends invited me to join them and take up the sport of running. So I begged my parents for the flashiest running outfit I could find, but then was relegated to what many people call an “off brand” shoe. Well, I showed up at the track on Saturday morning, dressed to kill, but with some very questionable shoes. One of the older high school guys came by – he was a running idol to us of course at the time – and was dressed in paint splattered shorts and no shirt. But he wore a killer pair of waffle trainers. I heard him say, “I put my money into my shoes.” After that first run, I completely understood why.

Lesson: do not skimp on the shoes. Get yourself a high quality pair of workout shoes and wear the paint splattered clothes! Your feet, shins, knees and hips will thank you. selecting a workout shoe

Tips for selecting the right workout shoes:

Talk to an expert. Do not hesitate to ask the salesperson questions and to explain your current fitness level, and what you want to achieve. They are there for a reason. This is no time for vanity or pride.

Shoes do one thing. Select your shoes based on your activity – the salesperson will know exactly what you need. If you walk, you need a stiffer pair of shoes. If you run, you need something with extra cushion for impact. Avoid making one pair of shoes do everything.

Bring your socks. You will most likely be wearing socks while you workout. So bring a pair you own. Doing so will provide you a more exact fit.

One of a kind. Your foot is unique to only you. So understanding the dimensions and unique qualities of your foot is important in selecting the right pair of workout shoes.

Instant gratification. Your new shoes should fit and feel great the minute you put them on. The days of “breaking in” a workout shoe are long gone. If the fit feels wrong, move on to another pair. Walk around the store, not just in a two foot circle.

Sizing and fit. Again, rely on the expert to you. Especially in the toe box area. They can measure accurately. But, you can still use the old rule of thumb of, well, the thumb. There should be about a thumb’s width from your front big toe to the end of the shoe. Overall fit should be snug, but not tight. Especially across the top of your foot. Technology. You’ll encounter many high tech shoes in the store. Gel inserts, gel heels, air cushioning and so forth are very effective for people who suffer pain in the heel or arch.

Expect to pay. Outfitting yourself with a good pair of workout shoes is going to cost a bit. Expect to pay somewhere between $60 – $90 for a name brand, effective shoe. There will be deals of course – just stick to the brand names.

Brands to look for. If you’re new to working out, a few names to look for are Nike, Saucony, New BalanceAsics and Adidas. Okay, now you’re ready for the fun part – go find that pair of shoes that will help you achieve your goals. There’s nothing quite like the little luxury of a new pair of workout shoes.



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