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Lace Up! The Right Shoe for You

Lace Up!
The Right Shoe for You

How do I know which athletic shoes to buy?
How long do athletic shoes last?

Whether it has a swoosh, glows in the dark, pumps up, has funky laces, or is named after a sports star, the best kind of athletic shoe is the one that fits you! A good pair of sneakers is one of the most important pieces of equipment you'll need if you want to get in shape. When you wear the right athletic shoes, you're comfortable and less likely to become injured. Your feet will thank you! back to top

How do I know which athletic shoes to buy?
It's easy to get carried away by all the technical-sounding words and cool styles when you shop for athletic shoes. But all that marketing won't help you out if your feet and knees are killing you after running a few miles or you have blisters after your aerobics class. Here are a few tips to help you get the most for your money when you're shoe shopping:
  • If you do mostly one sport or activity, it's best to buy a shoe that is made for that activity. For example, running shoes are good for sprinting on the track, but they can slow you down when it comes to moving side to side on the basketball court. For that, you'll need basketball shoes with good traction and high tops to support your ankles. If you like doing a variety of sports and activities, a cross-training shoe will probably be your best bet.
  • Try on shoes in the afternoon or evening, when your feet are at their biggest, and wear the kind of socks you'll be wearing when you exercise. Do some jumps and moves like you do when you're exercising. OK, this might be embarrassing for a second, but you want your shoes to fit, right? The shoes you buy should feel secure and not slide around or pinch your toes.
  • Try on more than one pair so you can compare different brands and styles. The shoes should feel cushy and support your foot without being too stiff or too soft.
  • Lace up the shoes to be sure they are comfortable. If they don't feel great in the store, just think how your feet will feel when you're exercising.
  • Ignore the shoe's style and color, and don't worry about the hype and "what everybody else is wearing." Sure, it's hard not to be influenced by all that, but hip athletic shoes don't do you much good if you can't work out in them! back to top
How long do athletic shoes last?
Depending on how often you wear them and the kind of abuse they take when they're on your feet, a good pair of athletic shoes will last anywhere from six months to one year. Of course, if your feet are growing, you may need new shoes before your old pair wears out. Wearing a shoe that has worn-out cushioning and support or is too small can lead to injuries. Here are some tricks that can help give your shoes a longer, happier life:
  • Air your shoes out after every workout until they're dry. This will help eliminate foot odor and keep moisture from rotting the sneaker material. (Yuk!)
  • Don't put athletic shoes in the washing machine! This breaks down the cushioning inside the shoe.
  • Save your athletic shoes for exercise! Don't wear them around school, to work, or to the beach.
Bottom line, if the sales guy tells you those tight athletic shoes can be "broken in," don't buy the story or the shoes. If athletic shoes don't feel great when you try them on, it means they don't fit. And they never will! back to top
Last Modified Date: 3/22/2001
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