GETTING THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOUR SHOES
Make sure you check the following four things:
- Is the shoe long enough for you? Generally you will need to buy a size that is at least one-half size larger than your dress shoes. For running or walking shoes, make sure there is about one-half inch or more room between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
- Is the heel snug? You do not want your heel to move up and down in the shoe while you are exercising.
- Is the shoe wide enough? If the shoe is squeezing your foot, you can develop corns and numbness.
- Does the arch hit your foot in a comfortable spot? Brands and shoes within brand differ in size and shape. Ask the staff at the store to direct you to those styles that will fit your foot the best.
SELECTING A SHOE FOR WALKING
Walking or running shoes can be used for walking. Generally we recommend running shoes for customers who are walking at a faster pace because running shoes tend to be more cushioned than walking shoes. However, there are some running shoes, particularly lightweight and narrow-based running shoes, which may not work well for walking, except for race walking. The staff at the store should be able to steer you away from those. We do not recommend a cross-training shoe for walking if walking is your primary activity, because cross-trainers often do not have appropriate cushioning or forefoot flexibility for walking.
We can also advise you if you are interested in transitioning to a more "minimalist", or lightweight, extremely flexible, shoe that is made to help simulate barefoot walking. There are many benefits to barefoot, and minimalism training, and we can help teach you about how often, and far you should run, and help you with transitioning into them, since it is not and immediate switch that should be made, in general.
BUYING CROSS-TRAINING SHOES
Cross-training shoes are generally most useful for gym fitness activities, including classes in strength training, low impact aerobics, fitness machines, Zumba, and casual basketball or volleyball games. This is because they provide more lateral stability than either running or walkingshoes. We do not recommend cross-training shoes for running or walking because they can be too stiff and not appropriately cushioned.
WHY WE DON’T RECOMMEND COTTON SOCKS
When you are exercising, you can perspire up to one pint of fluid per foot. Cotton socks will absorb much of this fluid, but it will not allow it to be released. Wet, soggy socks can breed blisters and bunching. Socks made of Coolmax® or Merino wool will allow moisture to be released, keeping your feet drier and less likely to blister.
LAYERING YOUR CLOTHING
The most effective way to dress for outdoor activities is use layers of light to mid-weight clothing. We recommend using moisture-wicking fabrics, such as Coolmax or Merino Wool, especially for the layers next to your skin. This will help keep perspiration away from your body, and you will stay drier and warmer during cold weather. There are many different types of fabrics with moisture-wicking properties. They vary in weight and feel, from silky to cottony to fleecy. Your salesperson can help you pick out something for your needs.