One of the most important purchases you can make when it comes to injury prevention is a good pair of athletic shoes. Athletic and physical activities can generate a lot of force through the legs—as much as five times your body weight, in fact. If you play a sport, it’s crucial to find a pair of athletic shoes designated specifically for the sport you play. If you perform various exercises at a gym, you might benefit most from a cross training shoe.
Before you buy your next pair of athletic shoes, here are a few things you need to know:
- Shop specifically. If possible, you should buy your shoes at a store that caters to your specific athletic needs. For instance, if you are a runner and plan to use your shoes for running, try to find a running store to purchase your shoes. If that isn’t possible, thoroughly research which shoes are suited for the activity you plan to do. You can then either order the shoes online or buy them at a general athletic apparel store.
- Come prepared. It’s a good idea to try on shoes at the end of the day, as your feet typically swell as the day goes by. You should also bring socks the same thickness that you would wear when you are working out or playing sports. This will help guarantee a proper fit.
- Know your options. There are many different options when it comes to choosing an athletic shoe. A few of these options include: running shoes, barefoot running shoes, cross trainers, walking shoes, court shoes (created specifically for basketball, tennis and volleyball), cleats and hiking shoes. If you’re unsure which shoe you should purchase, ask an employee who works in the shoe department.
- Measure correctly. When determining whether or not a shoe fits you, it’s important to leave a minimum of a half-inch in between your toes and the tip of your shoe. There should be enough room for you to wiggle your toes comfortably. The back of the shoe, also known as the heel counter, should grip your heel so that the shoe doesn’t slide up and down when you walk.
In order to prevent injuries, it’s crucial that you buy new athletic shoes as soon as your old ones begin to wear out. To make sure you are wearing the correct shoe for your activity level, discuss your athletic habits with a store employee who can help direct you to the right shoe.