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Family Foot & Ankle

How to Choose Shoes for an Active Lifestyle

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There are many different ways to lead an active lifestyle. Running, weight training, recreational sports, and walking or hiking are all popular options. These activities all differ in their respective ways, but they also have a commonality in the fact that you need to know how to choose shoes for an active lifestyle if you want safe, healthy feet and ankles!

Choosing the right athletic shoes is important if you're active.At Family Foot & Ankle Center, we take pride in being a valuable resource for local runners, athletes, and outdoor enthusiasts in our greater Cincinnati community. Sure, we can certainly provide injury treatment when you need it, but we can also help you understand how to pick out the right shoes so to lower your injury risk in the first place.

There are a handful of key tips for your health and safety when you are starting a running or exercise program, and one of them is to make sure you have proper footwear. So how do you do that? Well, the following tips will help:

  • Plan on buying the right shoes. (Also, plan on buying the left ones as well.) By this, we simply mean to make sure that your shoes are appropriate for whatever physical activity you are going to perform. This means that if you are starting a running program, wear running shoes. If you want to play tennis to stay in shape, make sure you have court shoes. For hiking, a good pair of hiking boots will protect your feet and ankles. Etc.
  • Go to the right store. Where you buy your shoes is important. If you are a runner, go to a store that caters to runners. The professionals at these stores will help you find shoes that work best with your foot structure and pronation pattern. For other athletic shoes, choose a store that specializes in athletic wear and equipment.
  • Go at the right time. Make sure you shop in the late afternoon or early evening. Feet swell through the day (until around 4:00 PM), so a pair that fits at 9:00 in the morning will be tight if you go out for an evening run or are playing basketball at a later time.
  • Get the right fit. Properly-fitting shoes are a must for all situations, but especially those worn for physical activity. Your heel needs to be firmly cradled (not excessively tight), toes need a little room on the sides (so they aren’t pinched), and there should be roughly a thumb’s width of space between the front of the shoe and your longest toe. Also, make sure there is room for orthotics (if you’ve been prescribed some).
There are other considerations as well, including arch support, cushioning, and shoe construction. Of course, if you have any questions, give us a call at (513) 728-4800. While you’re on the line, you can request an appointment with any of our Cincinnati-area offices.
Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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