What Really Matters When Choosing an Athletic Shoe, According To Experts

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What Really Matters When Choosing an Athletic Shoe, According To Experts

Athletic shoe

The right athletic shoe builds the foundation for your entire body when engaging in physical activity. The days are gone, in which a single sports shoe was used for different activities. The athletic footwear industry has grown exponentially in recent times. In the US, it has expanded into a $16 billion business.


For each sports activity, picking the right pair of shoes is crucial to avoid any injuries. Dr Bradley Schaeffer, a podiatrist and ankle and foot surgeon, emphasizes the importance of good-quality and specific sports shoes.

It is necessary so that you get the correct platform and support. It will help prevent any exacerbating conditions like plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, and ingrown toenails.

Beginners must pay more attention to selecting the correct pair. As they start, they may not have a proper grasp on the right form. Hence, doctors suggest they validate the shoes for the particular workout to prevent injuries.

Wearing activity-specific shoes will give you the optimum support and stability. For instance, you should not run with shoes that are intended for hiking. Each of these shoes has defined anatomy.

Running involves repeatedly moving your feet ahead. The outsole must be flexible to absorb the impact with which the foot strikes the surface.

These running shoes have a light build. On the other hand, hiking shoes have more entrenched tread patterns. It provides hikers with a better grip on the varied surfaces.

As per American Podiatric Medical Association, if you engage in physical activity more than two times a week, you should be more choosy about your shoes. So, how do you find the right one?

What do experts suggest for choosing the right athletic shoe?

Wearing the appropriate pair for particular sports activity provides adequate comfort, boosts performance, and helps in preventing injuries. However, the variety of brands available in the market makes it increasingly complex to make the right choice.

Most of us lack the understanding to determine what would fit us the best. The Journal of Foot and Ankle Research published a meta-analysis report in 2018, which revealed that between 63% to 72% of the population wear wrongly-sized footwear. It results in a higher probability of foot pain and other injuries.

The right athletic shoe will fulfil four essential functions, i.e., prevent injuries, enable better performance, provide comfort, and keep the feet healthy. Physical activities result in a greater impact on the feet, generally in high-intensity sports.

Good athletic shoes must function as a decent barrier between the external environment and your feet. The design must cater to the movement of the concerned sport.

Experts suggest that you must purchase your athletic shoe from a store specializing in your sport. Moreover, they advise you to buy it after you’ve engaged in any physical activity so that your feet are a bit swollen.

Wear the right socks, and try on both shoes. There shouldn’t be any slippage at your heels. The shoe’s tip and your longer toe must have a gap of at least half an inch. It will allow the free movement of your toe inside the shoe.

After purchasing the shoes, monitor them continuously to look for any signs of wear and tear. If you continue to wear it if it has lost its form, it can alter your performance and result in injuries. Check if it has any tears or cracks or if you face a lack of comfort. It is a cue for replacing the shoes.

But, at times, there is no outward deformity that will help you know if your shoe is worn out. In such cases, you must track the time and mileage. For shoes intended for walking and running, replace them after the usage crosses 300 to 500 miles.

For basketball, ensure that you change it once you’ve covered up to 50 hours.

For other activities like tennis and aerobic dance forms, check if the shoes feel uneven on the levelled platform. Moreover, determine if it has any creasing.

The American Council on Exercise suggests you adopt a cycle of six months for replacing sports shoes if you use them frequently. But, if it is not frequent, you can use it for up to a year. Avoid using your athletic shoe for casual purposes. It will cause a greater degree of wear and tear sooner.


Pay attention to the kind of sports shoes you are purchasing to ensure the best comfort and performance.