Hey everybody Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. I am enjoying a lovely day outside. It is so nice I thought I should come out here and talk to you guys. Today I’ve got three great tips on buying shoes and some info you should consider before you start your shopping spree. If you have questions about your kicks or would like more information about which shoes are right for your training, give us a call: 806-322-3188.

When should I replace my shoes?

This is one of the first questions people ask me when they are starting out. The answer depends on your style, your finances, and how often you are using them. Some people will keep the same pair of shoes much, much longer than what they should. Others feel like they need a new pair of shoes what seems like every other week. Figuring out the timing that is right for you should revolve around the activities you are doing in your shoes. If you are doing heavy training in them like running or jogging the shoes will break down much quicker than if you were just walking a few miles everyday. Unfortunately, when a shoe breaks down it isn’t the outside that shows the damage; why would you think to replace something that looks newish on the outside? The inside of the shoe, the actual structure that supports the foot, begins to break down with regular use. Consider how much impact you are asking the sole to take everyday.  If you are running say 3 to 4 days a week or jumping that much, you are doing some high impact work. Some people keep a tally of the mileage their shoes have gone, but not everyone does high impact over distance.  Regardless if you count miles or days, consider trading out your shoes every six months if you’re doing high level work.  If you are doing serious activity three times a week or less, perhaps you are focused more on weight training mixed with cardio for example, you should be looking at purchasing a new pair once per year.  

Which shoes do I need?

When you go into buy new shoes you should have an idea of the type you are wanting to replace our current set with to meet the needs of your training style. There are three main types of footwear for training:

  • Walking shoes – very flexible. They designed to have an easy forward and backward motion where they are drive from heel to toe. They don’t provide shock absorption.
  • Running shoes – More rigid with more padding. They are heavy. They add lots of rubber for shock absorption. Good for forward motion training such as…you guessed it, running or walking.
  • Cross-training shoes – Great for HIIT, aerobics, or sports style training. Low ankle drop (the cup for the heel below the ankle). Allows more side to side lateral movement great for working in all 3 planes of motion.  If you are training with forward, lateral, and transverse movements without shoes that can handle that, you are setting yourself up for injury.

Tips for buying shoes?

  1. Shop at night. Our feet swell throughout the day and even moreso when you are pushing your body to exertion. If you shop first thing in the morning, the feet haven’t swollen yet. If you then buy the shoes and go run later in the afternoon, it will feel like your shoes shrunk and your feet are now suffocating. Shopping at night is a great strategy because that is the largest your feet will be for the day. You can be confident that when you run, your feet will be comfortable and the shoe will fit no matter when you swell up.
  1. Wear your running socks. Most times people step into shoe stores ready to try on while wearing their day socks. Keep in mind that running socks (or wool socks during the winter) are a lot thicker than your everyday socks. Bring them in with you to ensure that your socks for training fit your shoes for training.  Replicating the attire you normally wear for a workout will really help combat against shoe regret later on.  
  1. Test drive them before you buy. You’re going to think I am crazy, but go to a store where you feel comfortable walking laps, jumping, bouncing, moving side to side, running in place, and more.  The employees may look at you like your nuts (or they’ll say, “Hey you watched that personal trainer in Amarillo’s blog, huh!”), but bear with me. You are going to be better off trying out the shoes by duplicating the movements you plan to use in the gym before you buy. Do you like the way the sole feels when you land on your feet? Do you feel like the shoe stays in place when you are pivoting? Is your foot sliding when you jog?  The function of the shoe should supersede the aesthetics, but that’s not what you will hear at higher end stores. They will try and upsell you on the latest colors and trends. Try your best to stay the course and find something that you find attractive and is functional for your purpose.

You want to pay careful attention to any discomfort you are feeling. Sure, there will be a

need to break the shoes in, but if you feel any arch pain, cramping, or the toe box is too

tight, you need to change the shoe. Insoles can be a good option if you have already have an ill-fitting shoe. Make sure you try those out at the store as well. You don’t want to feel any discomfort in your feet when you’re running, cross-training, walking, or any other activity.

If you’d like to know more about which shoes we recommend or a good retailer in the panhandle, we’d love to help you out. Our team is ready to answer any questions you have from shoes, to nutrition, to resources, to exercise, and lifestyle modification. You can reach our team at 806-322-3188 or info@customfitness.biz. We would be happy to offer you a free consultation where you can come in and see what we do here at Custom Fitness and determine if we are a good fit for one another. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainer in Amarillo.  Have a great week.