Choosing the Right Shoes for Exercising

Choosing the Right Shoes for Exercising

No matter what fitness program you choose: if your feet aren't happy, you’re not likely to continue exercising for very long. The footwear you choose can also affect more than just your feet. Back problems and joint ailments often stem from inadequate shoes.

It can be overwhelming shopping for athletic shoes—there are countless choices, and it can be quite expensive. Here are some things to consider when you're deciding what to purchase:

Okay to go barefoot? There's been some recent popularity in exercising barefoot. If your exercise is low-impact like yoga, dance, or Pilates, and you haven't had any problems, by all means continue in your bare feet. Just be careful of rocks, glass, etc.!

Walking or running? For normal walking around your neighborhood, you can get away with wearing a regular running shoe, but if the ground is uneven, trainers recommend a high-top shoe for extra stability. Be sure to wear shoes that aren't too tight; feet often swell when running or walking. You'll also want enough cushioning to help absorb shock when your foot hits the ground.

What about the gym? Whether you're lifting weights or participating in an aerobics class, having a shoe with proper traction is critical to both comfort and avoiding injury.

For specific types of workouts, check out this article for some great options. It isn't necessary to have the latest and greatest in athletic shoes, or to spend a fortune on them, but having a good pair (or two) can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your workout.

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