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The Importance of Wearing Correct Exercise Footwear

Whether your workout involves running, walking, sports or gym equipment, a decent sport shoe is a must.

Injury caused by inappropriate shoes can needlessly derail your fitness or weight loss attempt. Investing in a quality shoe can help you to prevent foot and ankle damage, and make your workout a more pleasant and comfortable experience. If you take your running (and your health) seriously, you should invest in a pair of shoes meant for the running gait and the specific biomechanics of a runner.


Types of Shoe:

A variety of sport shoes are on the market for every type of exercise. Running shoes that have inbuilt shock absorbers are available for joggers, and lightweight walking shoes are available for walkers. Aerobic shoes are lightweight and shock absorbing to prevent foot fatigue and to cushion the ball of the foot, which is put under pressure from aerobic exercise. Tennis shoes have flexible soles to protect your feet from the quick side-to-side movements of tennis and is meant for sliding over clay or grass, not to propel you forward for miles, going from pavement to grass to the occasional puddle Thick-soled, high top basketball shoes provide extra protection against ankle and foot injuries caused by jumping. Cross -training shoes are also available. These are suitable if you perform a number of sport or exercise types in your workout. There are also some other aspects, such as grip and protection. The most important design elements of a running shoe, though, are the ones relative to promoting a correct gait and helping you absorb some of the impact with the ground, which is what eventually leads to joint overuse and injury.

Here are some suggestions about finding the right fit:

• The McKinley Health Centre recommends that you try on shoes in the afternoon or evening, or after your workout as your feet are largest at these times.

• Make sure the heel is not slipping. The shoe should not be small, but if your heel keeps slipping out, you need to revisit your lacing or choose a different shoe.

• When checking for the size, wear the same sports socks you will be using for running and leave half a centimetre or space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. Feet swell during exercise and a shoe that is "just right" in the shop, will most likely feel too small during a run.

• Laces should be tight so that the shoe doesn't move around, but not so tight that you cut off circulation.

• Make sure the breath ability of the shoe you choose matches the weather you are planning to run in. Open mesh helps you cool your feet especially in hot climates, but you wouldn't want it if you run on cold winter mornings.

• Bend the shoe to make sure it is not overly flexible as this can indicate a lack of support.



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