Much like how regular exercise is vital to overall fitness and health, foot health is important to your well-being. Unfortunately, foot health is a subject many people don't think about enough, and some take for granted. At Fleet Feet Sports, helping you find the right fit is our 'Fitlosophy™'. We believe that choosing proper footwear for an athletic activity is a key step to sustaining an injury-free, enjoyable fitness program.
Tips for Selecting the Proper Footwear for any Athletic Activity:
1. You can't judge a shoe by its color! Shoes fall into one of three categories: neutral, stability, or motion control. Wearing a shoe with too little stability or too much stability can cause numerous problems such as plantar fasciitis and IT band strain, and over time, more severe problems. It is important to select a shoe appropriate for your foot biomechanics, not based on color or stylistic attributes.
2. Be willing to share information. Have you just started a new fitness program? Be prepared to discuss any injuries or nagging pains you are experiencing. What shoes and styles have worked well for you in the past? Are there any styles that have caused problems? If your current style has been successful, bring them with you to the store.
3. Have your feet measured each time you purchase shoes. Feet change as you age. Life changes such as the birth of children or weight gain or loss can cause gradual changes in your feet. The size and style that worked for you three years ago might not be the best option anymore. We will measure your foot while sitting and standing heel to ball, heel to toe, and width. In addition, we will watch your gait and foot biomechanics, so we can narrow down which shoes are best for you.
4. Don't forget your orthotics. If you wear orthotics, be sure to bring them along. It will be important to have your orthotics on hand so we can help you select a shoe that fits your orthotic properly.
5. Athletic shoes should allow for a thumbnail length between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. The flex point in the shoe should bend at the ball of your foot and your heel should remain stable and not move in and out of the shoe. Walking around inside the store does not mimic the same movement. We invite you try the shoe on the sidewalk for a short walk or run, or on the treadmill.
6. Check the wear of your shoes regularly. The midsole of a shoe is made of a foam material which overtime compresses and breaks down. As a shoe breaks down, the shoe does not offer the same stability and benefits as it did on Day 1. Runners should replace their shoes every 300-400 miles, while walkers should consider replacing their shoes every 6 months. Checking and changing your shoes is one of the best ways to continue with a healthy fitness program and avoid the doctor's office.
Regardless of your level of fitness, smart choices in footwear can make a significant difference in the enjoyment of your fitness activities and everyday life. Proper fitting footwear can mean the difference between pain and discomfort and injury-free activities. Doctors and podiatrists play a significant role in diagnosing and aiding pain and discomfort; however, simply choosing the right footwear is a key step toward comfort.