5 Biggest Mistakes When Choosing Workout Shoes
Maybe you shouldn't reach for those comfy old sneakers after all.
2. Choosing the Right Shoe -- for the Wrong Workout continued...
Then again, some people aren’t heavily into running, hiking, tennis, or any one sport. They go to the gym occasionally, maybe play tennis with a work buddy once in a while, or shoot a few baskets with the kids. For them, a cross-trainer might be the best choice.
"A good cross-trainer will allow you to do the treadmill, some walking on asphalt or on a track, and light jogging," Kathleen Stone, DPM, president of the American Podiatric Medical Association, says. "Not mileage, of course. But I like them for people who are doing a variety of athletic endeavors casually."
To choose a good cross-trainer, Stone suggests you look for:
- A firm heel
- Good support (you shouldn’t be able to bend the shoe too easily)
- Light weight (you don’t want to add a lot of pounds to your feet)
But the APMA recommends that if you’re going to participate in a particular sport on a regular basis (two to three times a week or more), you should choose a sport-specific shoe.
3. Loving Them Too Much
"Your workout shoes should be your workout shoes and not your running-around-town shoes," Rodgers says. "You’ll break down a pair of shoes standing in them or wearing them to the mall and running errands much faster than when you’re running or exercising."
So buy yourself a pair of casual tennies for running around town, and stow your good workout shoes in the closet as soon as you get home from your run or your tennis game.
"That’s where I buy the shoes I think look nice, but aren’t good for me to work out in," Rodgers says. "Certain brands, I can’t work out in because they hurt my feet, but I love the way they look, so I wear them with my jeans for just hanging around."
4. Loving Them Too Long
Another big mistake many people make when buying athletic shoes is not replacing them often enough.
"They think they should replace their workout shoes when they start looking bad," Rodgers says. "But shoes start to break down while they’re still looking good. The support -- the reason you buy the shoe in the first place -- is gone, and you’ll start feeling strange aches and pains in your knees, hip, and back."
Most experts recommend that runners replace their shoes every 300 to 500 miles. If you don’t run enough to have a mile count, or running’s not your sport, you should replace your athletic shoes at least once a year.
"If you’re exercising on a casual basis, you can make your shoes last a year," Stone says. "But if you’re working out every day, six months is pretty much your limit."