Fall into a new pair of shoes

It’s September, the kids are going back to school and you have purchased them shoes for school and their sports. What about your running shoes, cross trainers or basketball shoes? What do they look like, and more importantly how do they feel? Most of us wait until our feet start hurting before we decide to replace them.

Then comes the process of going to the sports store. There are so many types of athletic shoes to choose from; it can be very overwhelming. Some of you may buy a pair of shoes because you like the look or price, or because your friend has a pair.

The most important thing to do is to buy the best shoe not just for your sport, but the best shoe for you. It meanings considering your foot size, shape, and any idiosyncrasies about how you run, walk, jump and land. No matter what you need, there is a shoe out there for you and you can learn how to find it.

Learn your foot type by taking the wet test. There are three basic foot types, each based on the height of your arches. To find out what type of arch that you have; pour a thin layer of water into a shallow pan, next wet the sole of your foot, then step onto a blank piece of heavy paper and then step off and look down. The first type is normal (medium) arch. If you see about half of your arch, you have the most common foot type and are considered a normal pronator. What this mean is the arch will collapse inward, and this “pronation” absorbs the shock. The second foot type is flat (low) arch. You will see almost your entire footprint, which means you’re probably an overpronator. What happens when your foot strikes, your arch collapses inward too much. The third type is high arch. If you see just your heel, the ball of your foot, and a thin line on the outside of your foot. You are considered an underpronator, or supinator, which results in too much of the shock traveling up your legs, since your arch doesn’t absorb it.

The first step when shoe shopping is to try shoes on late in the day, if you go in the morning your foot will be smaller and tighter than it would after a day of walking around.

You don’t want to end up with a shoe too small. Also, think about taking a pair of the socks you will wear, the right fit needs to take the sock size and thickness into account.

The greatest variety of shoes exists for runners, for good foot motion to prevent injury.

When shopping for new running shoes speak with the staff at the store to get the best shoe for you, with so many variables in running its best that the experts help you.

With walking shoes, one needs to consider the anatomical difference walking is to running.

The foot is in contact with the ground longer, and because of the motion creates a different type of impact, walkers often feel soreness in the lower back rather than the knees. The types of shoes offered for walking vary greatly from those marketed for running.

You should have a pair of cross training shoes if you are participating in aerobic class, step, kickboxing or Zumba. Cross-training shoes take an entirely different motion that you need to consider. Cross-training shoes are made for lateral (sideways) motion and stability to the ankle during that side to side motion. The last pair of shoes to think about is basketball shoes. Basketball shoes are the culmination of all of the above.

Basketball involves running, stopping, jumping and lateral movement.

Buying the right size of any athletic shoe will provide the key to the best fit. It’s important to have your foot measured professionally and to seek out a shoe built for a narrow or a wide foot. Take your old shoes in when seeing a shoe specialist so that they can watch your stride in those shoes and how they wear after use.

Once you get your shoes home, take care of them. Don’t wear your running shoes for classes or cross-training shoes for basketball shooting. If possible, have shoes for walking, aerobic class and running. Many of us are guilty of wearing our shoes too long. You need to replace your shoes every 300 or 500 miles, or every six months. We all say this when we put our new shoes on, these feeling so good. Remember to have fun and enjoy your workout.

 

Reminder

All youth programs start Sept. 9: tennis, gymnastic and swimming lessons. The Y is offer fitness classes for ages 7-14 for free with family membership and $5 for $1 youth member for a four week session. We have our afterschool program, flag football, cheer camp and much more. Stop by the Y to get your kids signed up or visit our Web Site www.ymca-austin.org for more information and times.

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