Friday 30 January 2015


Whether you're planning your first 5K or like to go on nature walks, there's a sneaker for you. But the process of finding the right pair can be daunting. Besides fit and quality, most of us also want shoes that look good, which means you really have to do your research before hitting the stores. So we talked to a few experts to find out what missteps you should avoid.
1. You buy the wrong size and style for your foot.
"One common mistake is letting another person tell you what shoes are best for you," says Dr. Lowell Weil Jr., D.P.M. and President of the Weil Foot and Ankle Institute in Chicago. The most important thing you can do is try them on, pace around the store, and continue trying on new pairs until you find something that feels good for you.
Another mistake? You buy a shoe that's slightly too tight with the thinking that it will stretch out over time. "That typically doesn't work," Weil warns. Make sure the shoe fits you well in the store. You might also consider visiting a podiatrist ahead of time to find out what your specific foot needs are — they can help you understand the type of shoe that is best for you.
2. You don't consider the activities you'll be doing.
"Pretty much any activity that someone wants do to, there's going to be a shoe out there," says Doug Smiley, the Running Footwear Business Unit Manager for Mizuno. "Whether you're going to be running, walking, or playing tennis, from an injury prevention perspective it's important to pick a shoe that's specific to the activity."
Plus, many people don't think about one of the most important basics: the sole. "A quality supportive shoe usually has a sole that is somewhat difficult to bend and has a slight heel to it," says Weil. And, if you're wearing everyday sneakers to go for a run, your sole will be compromised much faster.

3. You don't communicate with or question the sales person.
According to Weil, there are a few key things you should know before stepping into the shoe store:
• The types of shoes that have worked for you in the past
• Whether you have a wide or narrow foot
• Kinds of foot problems you've had, such as blisters, arch and heel pain, bunions, or hammertoes
• If your feet or ankles swell throughout the day
• Injury history or any joint pain in your ankles, knees, and hips
Knowing whether you have problems will make you a more educated shopper because you can more easily identify which shoes can and can't work.
If you're searching for a walking or running specific shoe, Smiley suggests checking out a specialty running store where a specialist can monitor your gait and form when you run. "There might be an intimidation there, and though they are selling shoes, it's all about the service," he says. "Huge portions of people who shop at these stores are walkers or people who are new to running and need to get fitted."
4. You keep switching brands.
"If you find a brand that works for you, stick with them," says Weil. Most companies are consistent in the way they make their shoes, so you can usually count on them selling one or two pairs that will work for your foot. Unless the design drastically changes, it will be better for you in the long run to always buy a brand you really like.
5. You don't replace your shoes often enough.
Both Weil and Smiley agree — everyone is different and the timing of when you need to change your shoe varies from person to person. However, a good rule of thumb for both runners and everyday shoe wearers is to replace your shoes after 400 miles.
Other things to look out for? Check the sides and bottoms of your shoes to see if they're leaning or more worn down. And if you start to feel pain in your feet, legs, knees, hips, or back, it means your sneakers aren't providing adequate support anymore.


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