4 tips for choosing the best athletic shoe
Whether you’re running, walking, playing tennis or going on a bike ride, a good athletic shoe can make all the difference. Orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon Ben Jackson, MD, offered some tips on choosing the best athletic shoe.
#1: Get an appropriately sized shoe.
Most adults have not had their shoe size measured in years, if not decades, but ensuring appropriate shoe size is critical. Shoes that are too small in length can cause issues with your toenails, like bruising, or, in extreme situations, they can cause you to lose your toenails entirely.
#2: Ensure appropriate width.
Over time, a person’s foot shape and size can change. One way to check if your shoe is the appropriate width is to stand on a sheet of paper and outline your foot. Then put your shoe on top of it. If your foot is wider than the shoe, it’s putting a lot of pressure on your foot, which can cause discomfort and pain.
#3: Get the right shoe for the right type of activity.
There are several types of sport-specific shoes, everything from hiking to running brands. Any reputable store can help you choose the appropriate shoe. “I think with shoes, like many things in life, you get what you pay for. I typically don’t recommend buying the least expensive shoe. Getting somewhere in the middle range is helpful,” Dr. Jackson said.
#4: If your shoes are ill fitting, get them checked out.
Blisters, calluses, bruising or loss of toenails are not normal for any sport or with any amount of exercise. If pain or injuries persist, see a doctor.
Bottom line – having the wrong type of footwear can impact your whole body.
“When you’re running, it’s important to have the appropriate amount of cushion,” Dr. Jackson said. “If there’s less cushion, more shock is sent to the foot, knee, hip and lower back. The foot is your body’s first line of shock absorption, and a good shoe can help with that. Choosing the best athletic shoe doesn’t just help your workout, but your whole body.”
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