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Home / Fitness

Fitness: How to buy the perfect workout shoes

 It is important to invest in a new pair of shoes regularly to keep you properly supported (Shuttterstock)

Do your feet, knees or lower back hurt during or after a workout? Are your ankles rolling while doing basic exercises? Do you experience shin splints or aching heels? If this sounds familiar, you may need new shoes!

Even if you are not experiencing any obvious pain or discomfort, it is important to invest in a new pair of shoes regularly to keep you properly supported.

In this article, you will find some simple steps to help you find the perfect pair of shoes for you!

Steps to help you decide

Before buying a pair of shoes, ask yourself:

1.What is your budget?

This is one of the most important deciding factors. Set a realistic budget; the aim is to purchase the best shoes you can afford, not the cheapest shoes you can afford. Poorly-made shoes can have a long-term impact on your health.

2.What type of exercise do you most do?

While you may prefer walking, if you are actually spending most of your time in the gym then you need to purchase shoes that work well in the gym.

3.What are your feet like?

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Whether you have flat feet or a high arch, or whether your feet roll in or out will determine how much support you need. Do the wet foot test: wet your feet then step on a piece of brown paper then trace the outline to see.

Tips while shopping

· Your feet expand during exercise so, for the best fit, shop at the end of the day when your feet have swelled from walking around.

· Bring your socks or insoles: carry the socks you wear to work out or any insoles you may use.

· Make sure you have a thumb’s width between your longest toe and the top of the shoe.

· Choose fit, comfort and support over brand.

· Ask when to replace them; every pair of shoes has a certain amount of ‘mileage’ in them before they no longer function properly.

Tip: Remember everyone is different, and every shoe is different. A pair of shoes that may work well for your friend or family member may not be the right fit for you. Customise all your shoe choices to maximise on comfort and minimise on injury.

Different Sports, different Shoes

Running: Look for cushioned soles to take some impact away from your joints.

Gym Workouts: Cross-training shoes provide enough cushioning for the higher-impact classes like step but have a firm yet flexible sole to give support and allow movement during Zumba or gentle strength training. These shoes are not ideal for running.

Weight Lifting: A flat, firm sole gives you better stability when lifting heavy weights.

Outdoor Activities: Look for firm, supportive shoes which offer good traction. Trail shoes are great for gentle trails while hiking boots are necessary for more rugged terrain.

Tip: If you can only buy one, opt for hiking boots; better too much support than too little.

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