Which Athletic Shoe Should I Buy?

August 22, 2016 by Liz

Meryle Richman, PT, DPT, MS, CST, RYT
Senior Director at Ivyrehab Briarcliff and Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley

Buying an athletic shoe involves multiple considerations!

It is important to wear proper footwear to avoid ankle and foot pain or injury. Factors that should be considered in determining which shoe is right for you include:

The activities that will be performed, the construction of the shoe, what surfaces you will be on and the type of foot you have. Each sport or activity involves different movements or jumping and shoes are designed to fit the activity. Running, for instance, primarily involves movement in a straight line. Basketball and aerobics involve jumping and time spent on the forefoot. For example, playing tennis which involves side – to – side movements in a shoe with supports for straight movement could result in an ankle sprain. In addition, if you are involved in weight training activities for the lower extremities, wear different shoes than you use for impact sports. The extra weight from training compresses the cushioning and affects the shock absorption of the shoe. Cross trainers should only be used for short distance running (less than two miles). Some activities are similar so it may not be necessary to buy different shoes for each activity.

Uneven surfaces cause increased movement in the foot and ankle. This makes the ankle joint and the foot more vulnerable to injury. For example, running on rough terrain calls for an athletic shoe that is wider. This increases medial and lateral stability and decreases the risk for ankle injury.

Important tips to know before purchasing an athletic shoe:

● It is important to evaluate shoe construction prior to making a purchase

● Bend the shoe from toe to heel. It should not bend in places that your foot does not. In addition, if you push it down, it should not rock

● Place the shoes down and look at them from behind to assure the shoes are symmetrical

●You should also check wear patterns because this will tell you when to buy a new shoe

● There are 2 basic foot types: pronators and supinators:
(a) Pronator type foot is: limited big toe mobility, a heel that appears to turn out and the inner border appears to flatten when stepping. This type of foot requires a” motion control” athletic shoe. These shoes have firmer heels and a straight seam down the middle of the sole.

(b) Supinator type foot is: high and rigid arches and a heel that turns to the inside. This type of foot requires a shoe with more cushioning especially if you plan on using it for running. The sole of the shoe usually has a curved seam down the middle.

In summary, no two feet are alike even on the same person. However, by using basic guidelines, you can reduce the risk of injury.

For a free 10 minute screening, contact Ivyrehab Briarcliff at (914) 762 – 2222 or Ivyrehab Jefferson Valley at (914) 245 – 8807. With Direct Access a prescription is not required to be evaluated and treated. Visit our Website: www.ivyrehab.com to learn more about Direct Access.

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References:

1. Athletic Footwear and Orthoses in Sports Medicine – INDER https://www.google.com/search?q=D.G.+Sharnoff+Matthew+B.+Werd%2C+%E2%80%8EE.+Leslie+Knight+-+2010+-+%E2%80%8EMedical&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

How to choose your workout shoes.

March 12, 2014 by Kendra

A number of people have recently asked me about how to choose good workout shoes, and I must confess: I have absolutely no idea. Being on a tight budget, I have tried to find what appear to be the best quality shoes within my price range. I use a comfortable and supportive cross-training shoe for any exercise that absorbs impact, but for spinning and weight training, when my feet are constantly in contact with the pedal or floor, I use low-cost workout sneakers from Old Navy. I find them to be very lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and supportive enough for exercise without impact, but I wasn’t sure when I bought them that I was making the right decision for reasons other than cost. Thankfully, I was at least smart enough to ask my amazing personal trainer, Jenn Gannon, who has offered us all her expert professional advice!

I asked Jenn my top three burning questions about choosing workout sneakers, and here’s what she had to say.

Q: What should I look for in a good pair of all-around workout sneakers? Do they have to be expensive?  A: Think about what types of activities you are involved with at the gym, or even at home! If you are utilizing cardio equipment and weight training, even our group exercises classes, the best shoe is a cross trainer. They are going to provide you with stability, comfort and are the most durable to withstand all the various activities. With that being said, the price does not have to be astronomical but because a cross trainer will be of value for all of these activities you might want to splurge on a reliable shoe. Try outlet stores, Reebok is notorious for “2 for $99” deals. Even some online searching for shoes you’ve already owned, research is key!

Q: Is it okay to use “running shoes” for general exercise?  A: No, Running shoes are a specific kind of shoe that is tailored for runners. Running shoes provide extra cushioning to absorb the impact of foot striking. Not only that but running shoes come in different varieties that give extra support for a persons’ foot mechanics, such as their arches or the degree of pronation or supination. Most running shoes are designed with the intention of improving a runners performance. Any good sporting goods store will be able to judge all of these mechanics and find a proper shoe. Do your research if you are a runner if you are looking to improve!

Q: When should I replace my workout shoes?  A: Shoes should be replaced between every 300-500 miles. It ultimately depends on how you wear and tear the soles of the shoe. If you find a shoe you like and there is a deal, buy more! I like to rotate through shoes so that they last longer, especially if you are an avid exerciser. Shoes are the most important part of a work out, if you feel that they no longer are providing you the support or you can start to see your socks showing through a hole you are way over due for a new pair!

I hope you find these responses as helpful as I do. Happy exercising!