Friday, April 10, 2009

How to buy shoes

I usually bore everyone once a year with this but we have people new to our world every year so here it is again. Shoes have become so specialized that each fits in a catagory and if you are in the wrong shoe it can actually end your exercise career until you heal up and get in the proper foot wear. In addition there are jokers thrown. As your feet and body in general get in better shape and gain muscle mass while losing fat, your gait dynamics change. If that wasn't enough a shoe that you love will probably be discontinued or replaced with an upgrade that may not work for you at all.

Go to a running specialty store. If there isn't one in your town take a day trip and go find one. This is a necessary trip, YOU CAN NOT FIT YOURSELF WITH THE PROPER TYPE OF SHOW UNLESS YOU HAVE LOTS OF EXPERIENCE.

Go to the running store, Finishline and Foot Locker are not ruinning specialty stores they are fashion stores, they carry what sells and way more people are concerned about fashion that performance. They may carry a shoe that will work well for you but it's rare to find a person in one of these stores that is a trained by a shoe company to analyze your needs and gait.

The trained shoe expert determines your proper shoe. You can help him by bringing your current shoes that have wear or at least an old pair that has wear. He/she will watch you walk or run and also look at how your feet are shaped and the arch. Then they will recommend a catagory of shoe. They will usually bring out several that will work for you.When you get the shoes spend some time in each one, walk and or run around the store in each. You will find one or two that will feel the best. Insure they are not to tight in the toe box. When you exercise your feet swell so if they are snug in the store they will be to tight when you exercise.

Shoes come in different catagories, Motion Control, Stability and Netural Cushion. Then there are racing flats, and now even shoes designed for forefoot strikers. You need that shoe expert to ensure you are in the right shoe. The shoe types are sesigned to correct gait concerns but if you are in the wrong type it magnafies the problem by forcing your foot to do whatever it's doing wrong to do it worse. I'm a race walker so I have special needs. A "Walking" shoe is horrible and designed for people to stroll slowly around the mall and give them plenty of support if they have weak ankles and calves. I wear racing flats with a low heel and very light weight.

Once you have a shoe picked out write down you #2 choice also. The shoe you like best now may be discontinued by the time you are ready for your next pair. The shoe companies love to do that to us and it's good for business because we end up having to buy more shoes.I recommend for first time athletes to go to the running store every 6 months for a couple of years because your body and gait change as you get stronger and more efficient. Once you are fitted and have your shoes you can buy them on line and save some money but it's worth the extra cost every 6 months to get the professional help. Our favorite online store is he and members get a 15% discount.

Hope this helps.

Happy Feet Panda

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