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Are You Wearing the Right Workout Shoe?

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Is your workout good for your feet? Many years ago when I first joined a gym, I was excited to take a new aerobic workout class. The teacher was energetic, the music was motivating but 20 minutes into class my shins felt like they were about to snap in half. For nearly two weeks, I attended classes following the ritual of popping Advil just to beat the pain before it started during the workout.

Finally, I talked to an instructor about my aching problem. She listened attentively and then looked down at my feet. “You’re wearing the wrong shoe!” She exclaimed as she pointed at my white canvas Keds. At the time, I loved those shoes but was unaware that they offered no support and no cushion for the amount of pressure that I was applying to my joints as I jumped around. No wonder I felt like someone was trying to split the front of my leg open with a small, sharp ax. That was an experience that taught me a lesson about taking care of my feet, as well as the rest of my body during a workout.

I always know when my shoes are breaking down because I start to get shin splints. This is my hint that it is time for a new pair. Most of the time, my shoes look fine on the outside but my feet know the truth. An instructor at my gym gave me a great piece of advice when shopping for new shoes. She told me to go to a specialty walking shoe store and get “evaluated.” The evaluation consists of walking on a treadmill while a camera records the movement of your feet during walking or running. Next, you will receive the personalized service of finding the right shoe for your foot and the way it walks. Of course you will pay a premium for this service but once you know what fits your foot best, you can keep an eye out for future sales there and at other stores.

The pain you save your feet will far outweigh the extra money you pay for the right shoe.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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