6-7-2013 2-21-42 PMMy first recommendation is to shop at a sport shoe store that has knowledgeable employees. A knowledgeable shoe salesperson can help insure proper fit and function. Below is some more advice. Don’t make shoes multitask. Purchase shoes for each activity. Walking shoes are stiffer; and running shoes are more flexible, with extra cushioning for greater impact. Never use street shoes for your fitness activity. Know your foot. Most major shoe brands now offer a model to suit every foot type. Feet that roll inward or outward or have different arches need different support. Measure your foot frequently. Your foot size may change as an adult; and sizes vary between brands. Go by what fits, not by the size. Shop at the end of the day. Feet swell over the course of the day; they also expand while you run or walk. Shoes should fit your feet when they’re at their largest. Bring your own socks. Bring the ones you wear while running or walking. If you wear orthotics, bring those, too. Don’t worry about breaking in. Athletic shoes should feel comfortable right away. Walk around the store a bit to make sure they feel good. Use the rule of thumb. There should be about a thumb’s width between the front of your big toe and the end of the shoe. The heel should fit relatively tightly; your heel should not slip out when you walk. Never wear slip on/backless shoes for a fitness activity. Understand the bells and whistles. Some of those funky features actually serve a purpose. But not all the features are good for everyone. This is where a sport shoe store can help you. Don’t over or underpay. Good quality athletic shoes aren't cheap. A $15 shoe will not be as good as an $80 shoe. But you’ll pay a premium for super fashionable styles or those associated with a celebrity -- and they won’t be any better for your feet. Know when to replace them. Once the back of the sole is worn out or the shoe feels uncomfortable or less supportive, it’s time to replace your shoes. 6-7-2013 2-21-54 PM Good athletic footwear may be the most important piece of equipment you can buy. Poorly fitting or inappropriate shoes lead to discomfort and potential injury. By: Janet Hunt Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment. 6-7-2013 2-22-20 PM 6-7-2013 2-22-32 PM 6-7-2013 2-22-07 PM

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