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What Do You Look For In Athletic Footwear?

Updated on March 20, 2011

Stableness - regulation of ankle movement; shock absorption for the front of the foot and the heel - the greatest impact point; and breathability - the ability to eliminate moisture: These are the key aspects to consider when purchasing athletic footwear. Weight is also important. The more lightweight the footwear is the better it is - as long as padding and stableness are not sacrificed.

Your choice of shopping location will largely dictate the quality of athletic footwear you buy. A large amount of walking and running footwear are purchased at family-footwear, sporting-good, specialty athletic, department, and discount stores. You are more likely to pay higher prices at a shoe shop that provides for serious athletes, but you will probably find a more experienced sales associate who can help answer any questions you may have and assist to get you the correct design for your walking gait and for the kind of activity you plan to engage in.

Determine Your Gait

Most people purchasing walking and athletic footwear are typically not individuals whose feet need corrective footwear. However, makers also supply designs for unique requirements. If someone has feet that roll inward (pronate) in excess, a steadying or motion-control footwear may lessen the issue, and if someone's feet do not pronate sufficiently, padded footwear that places emphasis on shock absorption may be desirable. Over-pronators usually have a short arc; under-pronators, a tall arc, and neutral athletes lie somewhere between the two. If your athletic footwear is well-worn, take it with you to the store. The wear patterning may the sales associate to determine your walking gait and be able to suggest the correct new footwear.

Get A Decent Fit To Remain Fit

The first law of shopping for sport footwear is that how the shoe fits is more important than any other thing feature. The wrong choice could create fatigue and discomfort, or even sore joints and foot issues.

Feet are inclined to bloat towards the day's end, so shop for new footwear in the late afternoon, and dress in the type of stockings you will be dressing in for walking or running. Feel about within the shoes for rough spots, seams and bumps. Walking and running footwear ought to feel good as soon as you put them on, without being worn in.

Take Shoes For A Test Run

Purchasing footwear without giving them a try is like purchasing a vehicle without test-driving it. Walk or jog a bit in the shop, and inquire as to whether you could try the footwear one time about the block. Even better, inquire as to whether you could purchase the footwear, test them out at home on the treadmill or at the gym, and bring them back if they do not feel proper.

Give Orthotics A Second Thought

If your feet tend to be painful after walking or running, you may be enticed to attempt orthotics - customized footwear inserts that fit over the insoles. However, orthotics could be costly and may decrease a shoe's padding. Think about whether your issue can be rectified with new footwear or a distinct feature of regular footwear (neutral, stability, or cushioning).

Continued In: What Do You Look For In Athletic Footwear? - Part 2

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