Canyon Ranch (Arizona)
You love your athletic shoes, but do they love you back? For comfort and safety, it's important to know how to select shoes - and when to toss them away. Because feet are like snowflakes - no two are alike - select shoes to meet your individual needs.
Out of any 10 people, an estimated 9.5 are wearing shoes that are too small, inviting myriad foot problems. Your foot will fit better and feel better inside a slightly larger shoe than with a shoe that's a little too small.
• Shop for shoes later in the day, when feet tend to be the most tired and swollen.
• Get athletic shoes that are wide enough. Look for manufacturers that make a full range of widths. All the high-tech materials in the world won't make a shoe work for you if you've got a D-width foot and a B-width shoe.
• Most people's feet are two different sizes. Always fit to your larger foot.
• Leave at least an inch between the end of your toes and the tip of the shoe. It keeps the shoe from crowding your toes and prevents joints from being compressed.
Shoes worn outdoors generally have a shorter lifespan than those worn in the gym. Shoes worn outside and exposed to abrasion and dirt simply wear out faster. But not even an expert can tell what shape a shoe is in just by looking at it. Your shoes could look perfect, but the mid-soles may have become compressed. On the other hand, shoes that look like they've been through the wars may still be just fine.
If you exercise moderately indoors, expect around six to nine months of wear from a pair of shoes; outdoor shoes average just three to six months.