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Selecting Athletic Shoes

If you've ever had to select from the various types of athletic shoes on the market today, you know what a daunting task it can be. There are shoes made for walking, for running, for tennis, for cross-training, and shoes that merely look like they're for excercize. So how does one select an athletic shoe that will support their activity and, more importantly, support their feet? Well, here are a few tips for you when you're out looking for a pair of athletic shoes for your activity.

1. Check the Flex-Line

Shoes should flex at the ball of the foot where the foot flexes (Makes sense, right?). Test each shoe by pressing the shoe together at the toe and the heel and watch where it flexes. Now ask yourself, "Do you I want my foot to flex there?"

2. Check the Heel Counter

The heel counter (The supportive material around the heel) of each shoe should be firm or stiff, in order to stabilize the rear foot at the calcaneus (The heel bone) and control motion. Feet are very different between individuals and therefore there is no one shoe that is right for everyone.

3. Test the Shoes

Finally, when selecting athletic shoes put a different brand or style shoe on each foot. Now run, cut, jump, accelerate, and stop abruptly, on both carpet and hard floor. With this test there should be no doubt in your mind as to which shoe will work best for you. Keep the good performing shoe on your foot and replace the poorer performing shoe with another brand/style and repeat the test. Keep doing this through at least 5 or 6 pairs of shoes. When you are done you should have narrowed your selections down to two pairs. Now try on each pair with it's proper mate and go through the performance test as before. You should be able to eliminate all but the best pair for your feet. Your decision at this point will be much better for both you and your feet.

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