Shoefetish: The Right Athletic Shoe Will Amp Up Your Workout

By Samuels, Adrienne R. | Ebony, July 2008 | Go to article overview

Shoefetish: The Right Athletic Shoe Will Amp Up Your Workout


Samuels, Adrienne R., Ebony


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All gym shoes are not created equal--especially if you're stepping up your workout. Walkers need a walking shoe. Runners need a running shoe. In court sports (like tennis or basketball), players need a court sport shoe.

Video vixen dance classes or aerobics require a cross trainer that can take a pounding as you jump up and down, side to side or flip upside down.

"People always want to wear what they have in their closet or what they might use to do errands and that's a big mistake," says Dr. Kirk Geter, chief of podiatry at Howard University Hospital and a 19-year foot doctor. "But you could have an injury of some type. You could get a sprain or strain or might develop a blister."

Runners need shoes that hold their ankles and provide cushioning for up to five times your weight as you plow down the street. Walkers need stabilizing so they won't twist an ankle stepping up or off curbs. And three-day-a-week gym-heads need a cross trainer that will go from the elliptical machine to the weight machine. So weekend workout warriors, take heed.

"They go back to work and wonder why they're sore," says Geter. "If you want to continue the activity, the best thing is to start out right."

Shoe-buying tips:

Buy shoes at the end of the day, after your feet have expanded and swelled. You'll get a truer fit.

Take the time to get measured properly. Forget about style and focus on fit. Try on several different sizes, widths and manufacturers until it feels right. Shoes do not stretch out. If it doesn't fit right now, it never will.

If you exclusively train three times a week or more in distinctly different sports (such as two days--elliptical training, four days--running), consider getting one pair of shoes for each type of activity,

Are you a woman with wide feet? Try buying a boy's or a man's shoe; they have more space in the toe box.

Wet the bottom of your feet then stand on a brown paper bag. Step off. See where your foot leaves an outline? Find a shoe that matches that outline, which means that flat-footed pie will have a different outline than someone with high arches.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A SNEAKER

Tennis, Basketball and Volleyball: These court sport shoes are designed to stabilize your foot during the side-to-side motion of stopping, starting and running. Because these shoes weather a lot of wear and tear, they have good grips on the sole and offer shock absorption for jumping. Some of these shoes have soft spikes, which are not good for everyday use. It's often hard for bare hands to bend this shoe at the sole.

Running: Track shoes differ depending on your level of experience and your gait. For weekend warriors, this shoe has a thick sole near the heel that thins out near the toe. These ultra-light shoes should not be used as cross trainers.

Cross Training: This shoe is built up around the ankle with heavier, more supportive materials that offer stability for court sports and weight lifting. It provides cushion for the occassional runner and is perfect for those who circuit train.

Walking: The upper half of the shoe will be soft and comfortable. It will also have good shock absorption, a smooth tread and a sole resembling the bottom part of a rocking chair.

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Shoefetish: The Right Athletic Shoe Will Amp Up Your Workout
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