As sunshine and warmth beckon us outdoors, we may jump (or sprint) at the chance to play our favorite outdoor sport and accessorize accordingly – breaking out new gear, loading new music, and rocking new outfits on the track, court, or fairway. And who are we to object? We’d just like to attach a “footnote” to the frenzy. (We couldn’t resist.) Breathable fabric, durable equipment, and iPod playlists are important but just as key are the right pair of shoes for your feet and your sport. Choose the wrong pair, and you’ll run the risk of shin splints, aching heels, or stress fractures confining you to the sidelines all summer. And this season only comes once a year.
Follow your feet. Your shoe size changes throughout life (and from one brand to another), so get measured twice a year. The “rule of thumb” should be a thumb’s width of space between the front of your big toe and the end of the shoe plus room to wiggle your toes within. The heel should grip firmly without slippage when you move.
Analyze your arches. Examine your footprint and the condition of your most-worn shoes to see whether you have low, high, or medium arches. Low arches require shoes with more support; high arches require softer midsoles. Orthotic inserts provide an even more tailored solution.
Get the sneaker tailored to your sport. It will have the ideal calibration of cushioning, traction, absorption, and tread.
Shop in the evenings or after workouts. Feet swell throughout the day and with exertion, so you’ll want any pair to accommodate them at their largest. Wear your own socks and make sure the shoes feel comfortable right off the bat. Don’t believe the myth that you have to “break them in.”
Know when to let go. Once the back of the sole wears out, or your feet don’t feel as cushioned or supported, it’s time to invest in a new pair. If you run with a FitBit, start looking for replacement shoes after you’ve logged 400 miles.Leave a reply →