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Shoes are a topic near and dear to most women. Some have closets just to house their passion. Depressed? Go buy shoes is the mantra for many.
Unlike dress and casual shoes, buying exercise shoes is something most people do too seldom. I always tell my clients their shoes looks will far out live their effectiveness. The support aspect of exercise shoes breaks down at a much faster rate than the outside appearance of exercise shoes.
Worn out exercise shoes is one of the main causes of exercise injuries.
If you have a few pairs of exercise shoes that you trade-off wearing than your shoes will last longer. The average time is 7 months if you exercise 5 to 6 days per week. If you wear one pair of shoes, they generally lose their effectiveness after about 3 to 4 months if you exercise 5 to 6 days a week. If you only exercise 3 days per week your shoes may last a bit longer.
There are suggestions as to how many hours you should wear a pair of shoes but that can get pretty taxing trying to figure out how many hours you have worn your shoes.
Keeping the receipt for your exercise shoes helps two-fold. If you need to return them you have your receipt and you also have the date to refer to for the age of your shoes. You can write the day on your calendar as well. Find a way to post the date you started wearing your shoes so you will have something to refer to when it is time to get new exercise shoes.
The time of day you shop for shoes is important. If you shop for shoes in the morning your feet are smaller so your shoes may be too tight. Afternoons are a better time to go shopping for shoes. Be sure to bring along the socks you will be wearing too so you get the best fit possible.
Finding out if your feet pronate or supinate is very important. Some people pronate or roll their feet in favoring the inside of the foot when they walk while others roll their feet out, supinate, favoring the outside of the foot while walking. There are shoes that address both issues.
It is very important to know if your feet have either of these conditions. There are shoes designed to help with both conditions. If you pronate and you buy a shoe for those who supinate the shoe will make your pronation worse!
Each sport or exercise form has a different requirement for shoes. Running and walking shoes support front to back motion. Aerobic shoes support side-to-side motion while basketball shoes support a multitude of motions.
It is very important not to wear a running, walking or basketball shoe for aerobic classes. Kickboxing, step, low or high impact aerobic classes all travel side-to-side as well as front to back. The support running and walking shoes give is for front to back motion. You could easily sprain your ankle wearing running or walking shoes while doing aerobic classes.
You might think that a basketball shoe would work well for aerobic classes because they support all angles of motion but not really. They tend to be very stiff and heavy so the moves done in aerobic classes do not do well with basketball shoes either. Aerobic classes require either aerobic shoes or cross trainers. They support the moves you will be doing and are the best weight and flexibility for aerobic classes.
If you are a walker getting a good walking shoe is important. Walking is a different motion than running so the weight, flexibility and cushioning of the walking shoe is different. If you are a serious runner you also want to invest in a good running shoe because their construction supports your movement better. If you want an all around shoe the cross trainer may do the job for you. They support from varies angles and are generally lighter than a basketball shoe.
As confusing as it may seem it is a blessing that so many shoes are available. They help to prevent sport injuries so the time spent finding your "perfect" shoe is time well spent. You will have a much better chance of being injury free.
Let's recap the above information, it is best to:
Buy exercise shoes often
Shop for shoes in the late day with the socks you will be wearing
Find out if your feet pronate or supinate
Buy the shoe that is designed for the type of exercise you will be doing
Armed with this information you should be able to make wise shoe choices and enjoy the exercise or sport you will be doing with them.
Your fitness expert
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