The Right Workout Shoes For You

workout shoes

When it comes to working out, happy feet go a long way. The right exercise shoes can prevent injury and increase performance.  Experts place a premium on fit, noting that the shoe should mold to your foot and not the other way around.  Ladies, that means you shouldn’t shoehorn your big toe into a style just because it is fashion forward … and there’s only one pair left! According to a recent study, eight-five percent of people wear ill-fitting running shoes. Don’t become the statistic.  We’re breaking down the best treads by activity.

Hiking

The gym isn’t really your shtick – you’re more of a trail blazer.  Good news, outdoor workouts are great for the body as well as your mind.  If you enjoy hiking, look for shoes that boast adequate ankle support. You won’t want to fall victim to the rocky pavement. Try sportier options such as Inov-8 Women’s trail running shoe and ECCO’s Mary Jane athletic sneaker, or a more classic variety such as Patagonia’s Drifter A/C.

Running

Running can be hard on the joints. The right shoe can alleviate some of the pressure.  Keep an eye out for lightweight shoes that stabilize and provide excellent lateral motion control.  Consider jumping on the barefoot bandwagon, too. In one study conducted by Harvard, runners who wore barely there footwear landed properly and safely on the ball of their foot first.  Too much cushioning, researchers argue, causes runners to land on their heel and yields more shock and thus potential injury. Want to give barefoot running a go?  Invest in a pair of Vibram FiveFingers or Merell Barefoot running shoes.

Walking

There’s nothing like a brisk walk first thing in the morning to get you revved up for the day, not to mention heart healthy.  Adding an extra 30 minutes of walking can shed a bonus 150 extra calories per day.  Be cognizant that your feet naturally move inwards and outwards as you amble. A good walking shoe should provide shape for that movement and feature ample cushioning for impact. Asics and Ryka are some go-to, expert-approved brands to test out on your next walk. 

Cycling

Are you a big fan of spin classes? We don’t blame you! The heart-pumping workout can shape gorgeous gams.  Choose a lightweight shoe that will help maintain proper alignment and lend serious ankle support. Sources say that the sole of cycling shoes should be stiff and unpadded.  Beware of using cross training shoes for cycling. Too much cushion and clunky features can bog down your pedaling. Experts suggest the Shimano SH-WR40 and shoes by Sidi.

Cross Training

So that brings us to cross training!  Cross trainers are great for women who incorporate the panoply of exercises into their workout routine, from group classes in kickboxing to the occasional tennis game.  The right shoe should provide ankle support, proper cushioning and shock absorption. Unlike running shoes, cross trainers allow for side-to-side and quick up and down kinesthetics.   Fitness pros recommend brands including Underarmour, Avia and Saucony. Achieve extra stability from your workout shoes by adding padding such as the arch-support inserts from Good Feet, which are custom-tailored to your foot measurements. 

Always consult with a knowledgeable salesperson or your doctor regarding what shoe is best for you.  If you work out regularly, remember that exercise shoes should be replaced about every six months.

Fun fact: Avoid shopping for shoes in the morning.  Your feet swell as the day transpires, according to sources,  so you will have a better gauge on the shoe size that is most comfortable for you later in the day.  Another fun foot fact? Our feet often grow as we age, so don’t forget to reassess your size!

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