Happy Feet: The Healthy, Pretty, Pain-Free Foot Care Guide
How to Buy Sneakers
Before you even set foot in the store to buy a pair of sneakers, ask yourself these key questions, says Todd Galati, clinical exercise specialist for the American Council on Exercise and an adjunct professor of biomechanics and kinesiology at California State University, San Marcos.
- What's the main activity I'll be doing in these shoes?
You'll need different types of support and cushioning for different activities. Otherwise, it's like trying to play tennis with a racquetball racquet, says Galati. You might be able to hit the ball, but you'll be at a disadvantage.
- Do I need extra cushioning or motion control?
This depends largely on the type of arch you have. Do the bathmat test to figure it out: Look at the mark your damp feet leave on a mat when you get out of the shower. Notice your heel and forefoot, but see little or no connection in between? You've got high arches, and you'll need sneakers with extra shock absorption. If it's more a solid oval than a kidney shape, you have low arches; look for shoes that help prevent your feet from overpronating, or rolling in, when you exercise.
- What size am I?
Sneakers usually run smaller than regular shoes, so you may go up as much as a full size. Get measured, ideally with the socks you'll be wearing -- they can affect both the width and the length.
- How do they feel?
Galati recommends that you try on at least four pairs of shoes, walking around the store in them to make sure the heel doesn't slip and that there's no rubbing or pinching. No good shoe -- athletic or otherwise -- should have to be broken in.
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