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Happy Feet: The Healthy, Pretty, Pain-Free Foot Care Guide

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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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bcigbokwe wrote:

Please disregard my typo errors. What are the pros and cons of using the steam room vs the heater room.

2/27/2010 09:40:34 AM Report Abuse
bcigbokwe wrote:

Extremely helpful, thank you. However, would you please explain more on the lactic acid build up and what it may lead to. I tend to have a lot of leg cramps, burnning and itchinness on my thighs legs during workouts that actually prevents me from potntially runnig or doing aerobic exercises. People think that it is bizare; which in a way it seems; but it is as real as it gets.

2/27/2010 09:32:53 AM Report Abuse

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