Question: What is a part of your body you use every day, it absorbs all of your body weight and you abuse it by pounding on it constantly? Your feet!
Another question: What type of shoes would you more likely spend money on: Nikes or Steve Maddens? Well, the logical answer would be the one that would protect your foot the best for the type of activity that was completed… Right?! Ha!
Now, let’s get serious. Proper workout shoes are crucial! Your feet account for 25% of your collected bone mass in your feet and have over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments yet we do not focus on it.* When working out, there is much more movement, pounding, and added weight (when lifting) to your feet, and therefore, the work out shoes you choose need to be strong, durable, and able to absorb the movement (pronation) of your feet so that your body can move comfortably and not cause injury. Poor support can cause ankle, knee and hip problems that can even turn into tension in your neck, shoulders and lower back!
I am a huge fan of using your resources. There are plenty of shoe stores out there but not many that can help determine exactly how you move. Great shoe stores will either put you on a treadmill and help with inserts or at least be able to guide you to the right shoe which will provide stability and support. One of my favorite shoe stores is Road Runner Sports (http://www.roadrunnersports.com) or Fleet Feet Sports (http://www.fleetfeetsports.com ). They take the time to analyze your feet and give you the appropriate fit and custom edge. Yes, they will be more expensive, but it’s your feet and you are attached to them for the rest of your life. Might as well take care of them!
Last question I have for you: How old are your shoes? I like to use the 6 month rule. If you use them more than 3 times a week, after 6 months, it’s time to get a new pair. Now that varies, obviously. If you use them daily it might be every 4 months. It’s up to your discretion but here are some simple guidelines:
- If your feet hurt, replace the shoes.
- If your shoes are wearing out, replace them.
- If you are a runner, replace them every 300 miles.
- If your shoes are flexing (and they are not supposed to), replace them.
What to learn: You want to be safe than sorry when dealing with your feet, so if you have any doubt at all, replace your shoes!