A sound base is the foundation of any good house. Similarly, proper footwear sets a sturdy base from your feet up. That’s why I like to say that good shoes are not a luxury but a necessity.Finding the right shoe doesn’t have to take all day (but it can if you like!). Here’s advice on what to look for in your next fitness footwear purchase.
Be Specific: Just like you don’t eat your soup with a fork (usually), choose shoes that are specific to your activity for best results. For example, basketball shoes have more ankle support than running shoes to account for the frequent change of direction during a basketball game. Running shoes on the other hand have far more support than, say flip flops, to provide proper protection when jogging. Check out this infographic that details different options for different activities.
Choose a store: A reputable running or sports equipment store with knowledgeable staff is a good starting point. Ask the store staff for help; tell them what activity you need the shoe for and what your level of experience is. They will look at your feet, assess your gait and ask about your physical activity routines to make the most appropriate recommendations. Ask the store staff if you can test the shoes, either on their treadmill (if the store has one) or nearby sidewalk before buying.
Find a good deal: A good way to reduce your cost is to look for last year’s model, sales, or online coupons. If a model you like is on sale, consider buying a second pair for future use. But remember, comfort and fit is paramount; never buy a shoe that doesn’t feel right or isn’t the right size just to save a few bucks.
Prevent injuries: How often you change your shoes depends on your activity level. If you’re walking or running (whether on a treadmill, in a court or elsewhere) on most days, it’s recommended to change your shoes 2-3 times a year (sooner with higher volume). Waiting too long will increase your likelihood for sore knees or other injuries.
Consider your next shoe purchase an investment in your health and a step in the right direction! Questions about how to choose the right shoe? Comment below, tweet to us @healthyfamilyBC and @teamPAL, or call the Physical Activity Line for free advice 8-1-1.