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How to find the best fitting running shoes

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Well, it is that time of year again when the kids are back in school and enjoying a bunch of recreational activities. And, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, 85% of people wear running shoes that don't fit.  
finding the best fitting workout shoes

The Department of Health gives some useful tips for when and how to shop for athletic shoes. First, shop for shoes at the end of the day because your feet can increase up to a half size during a single day due to swelling. The socks that you will be walking or exercising in should be worn when trying on the shoes. If you will be running of jumping in these new shoes you should try to simulate those movements to determine if the shoe will perform properly. Standing on your tiptoes is a good way to see if the heel is slipping off the back of your foot or if the toes press into the front of the shoe, meaning they are too big or small.

After lacing, make sure the lace holes on either side of the shoe are at least one inch apart. More than two inches apart could mean the shoe is too tight. Bringing a pair of old athletic shoes can help determine your gait based on the wear of the sole. For example, if most of the wear is on the outside of the sole a more cushioned shoe with a soft midsole would be ideal for support. 

how to buy the best workout shoesIf the ankles turn slightly inward and causes wear on the inside edge of the shoe, this means you have low arches or flat feet. A motion-control feature with maximum support is needed for an individual with flat feet.

A normal foot with a neutral arch will feel the best in a "stability" shoe that has the right mix of support and cushioning.

Comfortable shoes can help reduce knee and back pain for people of all ages. Remember that shoes have a life time, too. Depending on the type of activity and how often it is being performed, shoes can last anywhere from 3 to 9 months.

Runners’ base the life time on miles ran in the shoes, which is typically 300 to 500 exercise miles. Bring a pair of worn sneakers to your physical therapist if you are unsure about the type of arches or gait pattern you have. A physical therapist can help determine the mechanics of your foot and ankle and how is effects your gait, for the most ideal shoe fit for you!

Contributed by Krista Magnoli, PTA @ The Physical Therapy Center in West Palm Beach, Florida

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