Exercise Shoes: Helpful Tips to Select Just the Right Pair

By Ingrid Hart

Good footwear is important for any physical activity, and finding the right fit is critical to a successful exercise program. Feet are the base of stability, and proper support can help prevent injury.

Purchasing a new pair of exercise shoes can be daunting because there are so many options and prices vary. One size or style does not fit all. It’s best to look for a specialty shoe store with knowledgeable staff. Shoes lose their cushioning after three to six months, depending on usage. Replacing shoes or padding regularly can help prevent injury.

The American Heart Association offers several tips for selecting the right pair of exercise shoes:

  • Get fitted for footwear at the end of the day. It’s not unusual for a foot to increase half a shoe size during the day.
  • Allow a half inch between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If one foot is larger than the other, buy a shoe to fit the larger foot.
  • Match the widest part of the shoe to the ball of your foot. Leave plenty of room for toes to wiggle without experiencing slippage in the heel.
  • Wear the same kind of socks you plan to wear during activity. Socks with high cotton content retain moisture and cause blisters more easily. Look for socks that are made with synthetic fibers such as acrylic or polyester.

Resources:  American Heart Association. (2015). Wearing the Right Shoes for Walking.
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/Walking/Wearing-the- Right-Shoes-for- Walking_UCM_461782_Article.jsp#.WYzQm6hSav8

About the Author:
Ingrid Hart is the Wellness Communications Specialist for Gilead Sciences. She’s an accomplished business writer and project manager specializing in communications. Ingrid is the author of an award-winning book on California. She holds a Journalism Degree from California State University, Humboldt, and a Masters Degree from Holy Names University, Oakland. In the evening you can find her riding a bike around Shoreline Lake in Mountain View, California.