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Prevent Sports-Related Injuries with These Sneaker Buying Tips

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We already know that you can't buy a performance sneaker on looks alone, but even so, many choose improper sneakers resulting in chronic foot pain or injury. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for sneakers.

  • If you trade in your sneakers for a vastly different kind — i.e. very cushioned for a minimalist running shoe — give your body ample time to adjust.
     
  • Your feet change size during the day, so be deliberate about when you go sneaker shopping. If you work out in the morning, go shopping for your shoes in the morning.
     
  • If you're a runner who goes on long runs, make sure you get fitted for your sneakers after a run as feet change size during long runs.
     
  • Make sure the shoe feels great from the start — you shouldn't feel like you need to break them in.
     
  • If you're a runner, bring your old sneakers with you as the wear patterns on the sole will help your sales associate determine how your feet strike the ground. Or better yet, pick a store with a treadmill that can film you running and do a gait analysis. It's very important to know if your feet roll inward or outward and if you have high arches or flat feet.
     
  • Make sure the sneakers aren't too tight in the midsection as it will restrict movement.
     
  • Don't buy cross-trainers if you do a lot of running as they only offer enough support for low-impact exercise (lifting weights, walking, cardio step classes, etc.).
     
  • Bring the kind of socks that you would normally wear with you when you shop.
     
  • Running shoes should feel a little bigger than your other shoes; there should be about a thumb's width between your big toe and the tip of the shoe (on average, about half a size bigger than your normal shoe size).
     
  • If one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size.
     
  • When your sneakers are becoming too loose or you feel joint or muscle pain, it's time to buy a new pair.

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