If the Shoe Fits

If you’re just getting into running or walking for fitness, you’ve got to have the right gear.  Those Nikes you’ve been wearing since college aren’t going to cut it.

The most important piece equipment you need for your workouts are shoes. Most beginner running books and a ton of websites offer advice on how to find the right shoe.

The one I’m going to reference here is “Runner’s World: The Runner’s Diet,” written by Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Phd., CNS, which incidentally, is a pretty decent book to look into if you’re wanting a guide to eating right and losing weight while training.

Here are some tips for making sure you get the right fit:
– Shop for shoes later in the day when your feet are at their largest. Go to a respected athletic store – if you live in Omaha, I recommend heading for Peak Performance. Big box athletic stores may have some teen who just got stuck in the shoe department and he won’t be much help. Also, don’t balk at the price – you’ll enjoy your workouts a lot better in the right shoe, but not in the cheapest shoe.

– Measure both feet for length and width. Turns out, a lot of people have two different sized feet. Fit your shoes to the longer foot.

– Allow at least 1/2 inch of room at the toes. This is a big one. Too tight shoes will haunt you.

– Look for cushioning to absorb shock and help stability. Your fitness goals – are you training for a marathon or a 5K or do you plan on cross-training – will be a factor in the features on your shoes. If you’re going to do some gym classes in addition to running, well, you’ll want something that will accommodate side-to-side movement.

– Wear the socks you plan on using during your walk-run for optimal fit. Socks, by the way, are very important if you’re going to be logging a lot of miles. I swear by double-layer running socks. You can find them at running stores.

– Try on at least three different brands of shoes, particularly if you are buying your first pair.

– Make sure your heels don’t slip when you walk.

– New shoes should be comfortable at purchase and not require a major break-in period.

– Shoes usually last about 300 to 500 miles, but check them monthly for ear and tear. Excessively worn shoes can contribute to leg and foot pain among other injuries.

Anyone have any stories of training in the wrong pair of shoes?


About kareiner

I'm an active mom who loves to cook. I'm passionate about health and fitness. I'm no expert, nutritionist, personal trainer or miracle worker. I just like being active and I like good food.
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