Finding the Right Shoe for You

February 16, 2015

Sneaker Shopping


Hi, my name is Emily, and I am not a Doctor.  Fitness professional, yes.  Doctor, no.  Before you read this blog post, I want you to understand that these are my opinions only.  Please seek further information regarding your feet/ankle/knee problems from your personal medical practitioner.  Now that we are clear, let’s move on to the fun of sneaker shopping, shall we?

Sometimes I wish there was just one sneaker in the entire world that would provide enough support and comfort while doing any kind of exercise.  There would only be one sneaker available for everyone.  Wouldn’t this make life so much easier?  Nowadays, we walk into a store and are extremely bombarded by the thousands of sneaker selections out there.  While the selection you see in front of you is overwhelming, each shoe is unique and will only help you feel your best during your workout. 

Millions of people are suffering from back/knee/ankle/feet problems.  Did you know that some of these issues can be solved by wearing proper footwear?  Yup.  That’s right.  Instead of walking around uncomfortable or seeing a specialist, seek a professional in a shoe store and get your foot measured and explain to the employee what kind of activity you like to do. 

Running/walking shoes are the most popular kind of sneaker, in my opinion.  However, if you are weight lifting or performing any high intense interval training (HIIT) in the gym, running sneakers should not be worn (running sneakers are for RUNNING J).  Running shoes offer more heel support lifting your heel off the ground more than a training sneaker.  You want your feet closer to the ground (and not lifted at the heel!) when you are performing heavier lifting (squats, deadlifts, sumo squats, etc.) 

How do I know what shoe is what?  Sneakers are usually separated by category.  When searching for the right sneaker, you will want to start by heading to that category.  Love running?  Head straight for the “running” section.  Make sure to speak with an employee and ask questions.  They are familiar with the product and can guide you in the right direction.  Test out the sneaker.  This is a biggie.  You must walk or run around in the shoe/perform plyometric movements/squat/etc. to actually see how this shoe performs and fits.  Don’t be shy!

Another tip I would like to include is to be aware of the store you are visiting.  Some stores are just for runners.  If you are looking for a training sneaker/spinning shoe/etc., they will most likely not have what you are looking for.  Pay attention to your surroundings, people!

Performing certain exercises in the wrong shoes can be harmful to your joints causing aches and pains.  Make sure you are listening to your body – don’t ignore the aches!  Those minor aches are trying to tell you something and it’s much better to fix the problem sooner than later.  I now want all of you to look at your sneakers.  How old are they?  What purpose are they supposed to serve?  If they are not the right sneaker, go out and get fitted for new ones!  You owe it to yourself to feel your best.  Also, who doesn’t love showing off new sneakers in the gym? 

Happy sneaker shopping!

The Author

Karen Bobos, MSed

Karen M. Bobos, MSed, has been in the fitness industry since 1996 and feels her highest accomplishments are those results achieved by her clients through her guidance. She educates clients that there is no trick to being healthy, no magic pills, but rather optimal health is achieved through eating right and moving your body.

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