Remember as a child when your parents would take you shoe shopping? The friendly shoe store employee would measure your foot on one of those cold metal contraptions, then your mom or dad would press on the front of your shoe to make sure your toes weren’t touching the front. That’s it – shoe problems solved! Unfortunately, if you’re truly looking to match your feet to the perfect pair of gym or athletic shoes, you must do a few extra steps to ensure the perfect fit. Here’s how to choose the best gym shoes for your needs.
Shop at Night and Bring Your Own Socks
Feet naturally swell throughout the day, so eliminate the possibility of your shoes fitting in the morning, then becoming uncomfortable during the later hours of the day. Plus, make sure you bring the same socks you’ll use when you’re actually at the gym. Too many working professionals purchase athletic shoes on the way home from work, wearing their thin, black work socks during the fitting. Once they hit the gym in their new shoes, they’ll quickly realize that the socks do make a big difference.
No Break-In Period
Some of us feel that it is acceptable for shoes to feel uncomfortable at first, that there needs to be a breaking-in period. Here’s a good rule to follow – if they hurt in the shoe store, don’t buy them. Shoes today, especially athletic shoes or running shoes, should feel flexible and supportive right away, and any pain felt when trying on new shoes is likely an indicator of a poor fit.
Invest in Your Shoes
While you certainly do not have to spend $200 for a pair of the latest designer gym shoes, any shoe under $50 should be looked at with a skeptical eye. There is a certain amount of money that shoe manufacturers must invest in each pair to deliver the winning combination of comfort, performance, and durability. So, confidently shop in the $50-120 range, and understand that good shoes protect your feet, stabilize the body, and ensure safety and comfort throughout your time at the gym.
A reputable running store or high-end shoe store will be able to analyze your feet, your stride, how you move around, and how your weight is distributed. This will help them pair you with the right athletic shoe in minutes. While many of us shop with our eyes and not our brains when it comes to buying shoes, finding the right gym shoes is much easier when you enlist the help of a qualified professional.
The best gym shoes, specifically for yourself, will help you enjoy a more comfortable, productive workout the next time you hit the exercise circuit. Follow the steps above on how to choose the best gym shoes, and always replace shoes when they’ve truly worn out their welcome.