By; Fleet Feet Sports Madison & Sun Prairie Staff
Your feet are the foundation of your body. What's on your feet? SHOES! We understand it’s tempting to dust off the vaguely-athletic-looking shoes in your closet, but it’s not a good idea. Worn-out or ill-fitting shoes are a leading cause of injury. And wear and tear are not always apparent to the naked eye. If you want to stay comfortable, healthy, and injury-free, invest in a good pair of running shoes.
Don't skimp. It may feel like a lot to spend up to $120 on a pair of running shoes, but the investment is worth it. Consider this: Whatever your new shoes cost, it is likely less than the money and time you’d spend seeing the doctor because you got hurt.
See the experts. We are shoe nerds and we aren't ashamed to admit it. Running shoe vendors spend hundreds of thousands of dollars designing and wear testing their shoes, so it's a complete waste if you are not educated on the product, had your gait looked at, and fit properly based on your specific foot and it's needs.
Size yourself up. You may think you know your size, but it’s best to get your feet measured each time you buy new shoes. Your feet change over time, and one fit can be drastically different from another’s. You also want to have your fet measured later in the day, when they're at their biggest (feet swell). Many people end up getting a running shoe that’s a half size to a size larger than their street shoes. The extra room allows your foot to flex and your toes to spread with each stride. When you’re standing with both shoes on, make sure you have at least a thumbnail’s space between the tip of the shoe and the end of your longest toe. Try shoes on both feet and take them for a test run around the shop, on a treadmill, or on the sidewalk.
Bring what you’ve been wearing. When you go shopping, take along the shoes, socks, and any inserts that you’ve been using. That way we can make a realistic and full evaluation of how the new shoe will fit your feet.
Keep up the rotation. Shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. Keep track of the date that you bought them in your training log. This mileage guideline does not matter whether your running, walking, or doing an exercise class. Cushioning systems are impacted any time you slip the shoes on your feet.
Don’t be a trendsetter. There is a dizzying array of shoes to choose from, and it can be tempting to be wooed by a bargain-basement price, shoes that “look fast,” or a promise to cure an injury or help you lose weight. But, there is no one best shoe for anyone. There is only one shoe that offers your feet the unique support and fit you need. Don’t shop by price or by fashion, but by fit and feel!