Getting Fitted For Sports Shoes
When shopping for athletic shoes there is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the best shoes for your foot health and overall well-being. Your feet are as unique as snowflakes, while they may appear similar when looking at them they each have their own sophisticated design. To prevent your feet from being injured or suffering irreversible damage when partaking in sports related activities you must have a proper fitting conducted when purchasing your athletic shoes.
The first step when shopping for athletic shoes is to go to a store that specializes in this type of footwear. Athletic and sports footwear specialty stores have the tools to conduct thorough measurements for your feet. Measurements should be taken of each foot as it is very possible that your feet can differ from each other in their size and specific cushioning needs.
Shop later in the day when you plan to purchase your footwear. Your feet tend to swell under normal everyday conditions such as walking, standing, running, and other activities that you perform. It is best to have your feet measured when they are at their biggest size. Feet can tend to increase as much as half a shoe size simply by your normal everyday routine.
When trying on shoes at your chosen athletic shoe store wear socks that you plan to use during your sports related activities. This will provide you with a more accurate fit for the shoes you purchase. Cotton or bulky socks should not be worn during sports related activities as they do produce a great deal of friction between the shoe and your skin resulting in painful calluses or blisters.
One of the most important steps when fitting your feet for new athletic footwear is to perform similar activities when trying on the new shoes. While it may not always be possible to perform the exact activities you would when participating in your chosen sports or athletic events you can still jog in place, perform jumps such as when playing basketball, or walk around the store. If the store does have flooring that is tiled try to perform activities in these areas as they will give you more a more accurate feel.
A simple test that you can conduct to ensure that the footwear fits as though it should is to stand on your tiptoes once the new shoes are properly secured to your feet. If your heel comes out of the shoe it is most likely not a proper fit. The friction caused when your heels rub again the back of the shoe will cause you to experience blistering and callusing that will interfere with your normal everyday activities.
Your shoe should bend easily under the balls of your feet. When your shoe is laced you should not feel any tightness or rubbing occur when walking, jumping, running, or standing for any length of time. The shoe's arch support that is designed into the shoe should always match up to the arch of your foot and give a feeling of support. If it feels as though the arch is too high and is pushing into your own foot's arch this may be an indicator that this is not the right shoe for you.
When lacing up the shoe, make sure that the lace holes are at least one inch apart on either side. If the lace holes are too close together, you will not have the room needed to adjust laces from time to time. Lace holes that are more than two inches apart are an indicator that the shoe is too tight for your foot.
For a properly fitted athletic shoe you should have enough width for your toes. Your toes should be able to spread apart slightly with ease and without the feel of being squished into the shoe. Shoes that do not allow for enough room for the toes can cause irreversible damage to the toes and infection to the skin due to puncturing or poor air circulation that can occur. The tip of the shoe should always be at least the width of a thumbnail to the top of your longest toe. This will allot for comfort room for your toes to move freely during any type of sports or athletic activities.
If you already have a pair of athletic shoes that you feel comfortable moving in, bring them with you when shopping for new athletic footwear. Professionals that work within reputable athletic shoe stores can use these shoes to determine the gait of your foot based on the areas of wear found in your old shoes.
When you are unsure about whether or not it is time to purchase new athletic shoes, a good rule of thumb is to change your shoes every three to six months. This may be more often when you have racked up 300 to 500 miles of exercise or sports related activity on your shoes. You can always inspect the mid-sole of your shoes to use an indicator of the wear that your shoes have sustained.