Choose An Athletic Shoe That Fits Your Needs

Picking the perfect athletic shoe to fit your needs is part science and part trial and error. Learn what you need to know before you start shopping.

If you have tried to buy a pair of athletic shoes recently, more than likely you were overwhelmed by the choices that are available. Buying a well made, properly fitting pair of shoes is important for not only comfort but safety's sake.

The first decision that you need to make is what type of shoe you need. If you focus solely on one sport, that decision is relatively easy, get a sport specific shoe. If you are an avid runner, buy a running shoe, or if you play tennis three times a week, get a tennis shoe. If, however, you have more than one sport that you enjoy, you have a trickier decision to make. If your concentration is mainly on one sport but you do something else occasionally, go with a shoe made for your dominant sport. For example, if you run three days and take one step aerobics class a week, get a running shoe. An exception to this would be if the sports use the body in vastly different ways. If you walk three days a week and play tennis one day a week, you may want to invest in two pairs of shoes. The lateral movement of tennis requires more support than would be offered by a walking shoe. Not only will this help protect you from injury, but each pair of shoes will last longer.

Once you have made your decision on the type of show you want it is time to head to the sporting goods store. Be sure to wear the same type of socks that you wear to exercise in, so that you know for sure that the shoes will be comfortable with them. Try a variety of shoes, and keep in mind that many brands of athletic shoes run ½ to 1 full size small. Do not try to cram your foot into a too small shoe. The material that athletic shoes are made out of (synthetic leather and mesh) is not made to stretch. If the shoes do not fit directly out of the box, try a larger size or a wider style. Once you have narrowed the shoes down to one or two styles that you like and feel comfortable, try jumping, jog a little in the store, or hop from side to side. Try to simulate the same type of motion that occurs when you are participating in your sport. Keep in mind that these shoes are not going to get more comfortable. If they pinch or bind the least bit now, keep looking.



Once you have the size and style that you like, your goal is to keep them in good condition. Do not wash them in the washing machine, as this is very hard on the internal cushioning. You can purchase cleaning supplies at the same store that you get your shoes that are specifically made for athletic shoes. Something else that will go along way in adding to the life of your shoes is not wearing them every day. Allowing them to air out and dry completely between each wearing can easily double their lifespan.

© High Speed Ventures 2011