Our Sole Mates
Get the kicks that fit your sport
Did you think the sneaker craze was over? Think again.
Kanye West’s Yeezy Air Boosts hit the market a few weeks ago in limited release and were swept off the shelves in a matter of minutes. Yes, you can get a pair, if you’re willing to pony up thousands of dollars and get into a bidding war on eBay.
Most of us can find better things to do with that kind of money. And if we do need a new pair of kicks, we want to make sure it’s money well spent.
Whether you’re an Adidas addict, a Nike nut, a Fila fanatic or a Converse connoisseur, the right shoes could mean the difference between resounding victory and crushing defeat. What’s more, sneakers that fit well may help your performance and even reduce the risk of painful and potentially costly injuries to your feet, ankles and legs.
Shop for shoes at the end of the day — that’s when our feet are largest.
Researchers from the University of Calgary recently reviewed previous studies of the relationship between running injuries and shoes. Their findings? Runners intuitively pick the most comfortable shoes, and that may help reduce injuries. The study was published in “The British Journal of Sports Medicine.”
Study author Michael Ryan told LifeZette that in addition to comfort and fit, “We need to consider additional factors such as running experience, previous footwear and previous injury into account when selecting footwear categories.”
Shoes that don’t fit properly, or are too old or worn out, can cause pain and tenderness in the sole of the foot under the heel bone. It can hurt when you’re standing, walking or running. You can get a sharp, stabbing pain when you’re getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting — a condition called plantar fasciitis. The wrong shoes also can cause painful shin splints and unsightly bunions.
If you’ve had problems before, or if brand allegiance has you buying the exact same footgear year after year, it may be time to broaden your horizons. Remember that the most expensive, sharpest-looking shoes won’t do their job if they don’t fit properly.
Protect your footsies (and your gams) from future problems with these pointers from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
- Get specific. If you participate in a certain sport two or more times a week, buy the specific shoe for that sport. If you play basketball, buy a basketball shoe. If you run, buy a running shoe. Soccer players need cleats. If you’re sports-minded and do a variety of sports, consider buying a cross training shoe.
- Shop late in the day. The best time to try on shoes is at the end of the day or after a workout. That’s because your feet swell throughout the day. It’s best to try on shoes when your feet are the largest.
- Don’t forget the socks. You won’t do yourself any favors if you wear your dress socks when you’re shopping for sneakers. It’s best to wear the socks you’ll wear when you’re working out.
- Give yourself some wiggle room. You should be able to wiggle your toes comfortably in your new shoes. And when it comes to sneakers, there’s no breaking-in period. They should be comfy the minute you put them on. Walk around on different surfaces to make sure they fit properly.