4 Tips To Wear The Right Shoes For Your Workout

Whether you go running every day, attend a weekly sports session, or have a full-fledged workout at the gym, your footwear makes all the difference. Here are four tips to make sure you are wearing the right shoes.

1. Cross-training shoes work for most activities

Expert guidelines recommend investing in sport-specific shoes only if you practice the sport more than two times a week. But if you want a pair that could be suitable across the board, cross-trainers are considered the jack of all trades.

"They give you some stability to move forward and backward and side to side, and while they aren’t as squishy as a running shoe, meaning you can lift in them, they aren’t so rigid that you can’t run in them," said Albert Matheny, a trainer with SoHo Strength Lab in New York City.

2. Minimalist shoes require a slow transition

As the name suggests, these shoes provide as minimal features as possible. Research has suggested that running in these shoes can help in strengthening the feet over time.

But unlike our ancestors who were used to barefoot running, it takes time for the modern feet to adjust to this kind of minimalism. Suddenly opting to go running in these shoes can increase the risk of stress fractures and inflammation.

"People need to remember they've grown up their whole life wearing a certain type of running shoes and they need to give their muscles and bones time to make the change," said Wayne Johnson of Brigham Young University. "If you want to wear minimalist shoes, make sure you transition slowly."

3. Good shoes should fit right from the start

If you are prone to blisters, your socks might be to blame. Greatist notes that cotton ones are more likely to cause blisters than nylon ones. But it may also come down to the fact that your shoes are not fitting right.

Footwear brands vary a lot, so simply knowing your size is not enough. It is crucial to try them on before purchase and make sure they are comfortable right from the beginning.

"You shouldn't need to 'break in' a pair—they should feel comfortable and fit appropriately out of the box," said Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise.

4. Know when you should be replacing them 

Continuing to wear shoes after they have been worn out does not only raise injury risk, they can also affect your performance and reduce the benefits you reap from your workout. On average, your running shoes should be replaced after 350 to 500 miles of use.

If you do not keep a log, you can look for other tell-tale signs such as unexplained pain at the bottom of your foot, signs of creasing, a noticeably soft midsole or if one of the soles have become asymmetrically worn.