Superstar endorsements and style influence runners’ shoe purchasing decisions. However, FootCareMD, the patient education site of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, says proper-fitting shoes can enhance performance as much as they prevent injuries.
This summer, the organization is advising runners to purchase athletic shoes from specialty stores with staff that can help find the best fit.
FootCareMD recommends these seven tips for buying a new pair of shoes:
1. Try on athletic shoes at the end of the day. Your feet swell during the day, so trying on at the end of the day will mean your feet are at their largest. You’ll get the best fit this way.
2. Wear the same type of sock that you will wear for that sport.
3. When the shoe is on your foot, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes.
4. Your shoes should be comfortable as soon as you try them on. There is no break-in period.
5. Walk or run a few steps in your shoes. Make sure they allow you to comfortably do what you do when you exercise.
6. Always re-lace the shoes you are trying on. You should begin at the farthest eyelets and apply even pressure as you create a crisscross lacing pattern to the top of the shoe.
7. There should be a firm grip of the shoe to your heel. Your heel should not slip as you walk or run.