As shock absorbers, your feet are subjected to nearly one million pounds of pressure during one hour of strenuous exercise. Proper footwear is important to cushion these loads. Carefully choosing the right fit and style of exercise shoe can prevent injury that could put you on the sidelines.

Below are tips and guidelines on purchasing the correct pair of shoes:


Fit is the most important aspect to determining the correct pair of shoes for exercise. You need to consider the anatomy of your feet before choosing a shoe. Cushioning and ankle support are important to keep high-arched feet comfortable and well-supported during workouts. Low-arched feet need greater support under the ball of the foot.


When purchasing shoes, measure both feet – as your feet may be different sizes. Your feet expand during weight-bearing, so make sure you are standing when they are measured. In addition, your feet tend to swell and be at their largest at the end of the workday or after a workout, so you should try on shoes during these times.

The proper shoe will also vary depending on your chosen form of exercise.

·  Walking shoes need to be lightweight, well-ventilated, and durable.

·  Running shoes should also be lightweight and flexible through the sole to roll with your stride. A soft, padded insole will protect your joints from absorbing the concussion of running.

·  Aerobic shoes, generally referred to as “cross-trainers”, must provide you with good cushioning, solid arch support, and reliable ankle stability.


Sixty percent of a shoe’s shock absorption is lost after 250-500 miles of use, so people who run up to 10 miles per week should consider replacing their shoes every 9 to 12 months.