How to buy athletic shoes

Buying Aerobic Shoes

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Buying Aerobic Shoes

I am ready to go back to the gym after a 2 year 'leave of absence'. I just realized that I have no aerobic shoes and I have no idea what to buy. I plan on taking aerobics classes plus lift some weights. Can anyone recommend good but reasonably priced aerobic shoes for women?

Aerobic Shoes An Individual Thing

Shoes are a very individual thing. I can't recommend a shoe since there are many factors that determine what kind of shoe you should get. First, poorly made, cheap shoes will cost you much more in medical and chiropractic bills in the long run.

Second, ignore all the fancy bells and whistles on shoes these days and realize that it boils down to two types of shoes: running and other. Since you want to weight lift and do aerobics, DO NOT BUY RUNNING SHOES. They are not built to withstand the side to side impact that many aerobic activities have. You will want a good cross trainer. If you decide to take up running, consult a professional. Running shoes are complicated.

Otherwise, take a pair of your "old" shoes and notice where the wear and tear is. The sides? The heel? This indicates your foot and step type. Take it to a good reputable shoe store and have them make recommendations for any special problems you might have. Also, if you are carrying an excess amount of weight, there could be repercussions for your joints. If there are some special issues, you are best to lay out the extra money for a good shoe. Otherwise, your joints will pay. If you give them a budget, most sales reps will find the discontinued models that will help out any special problem areas.

Be wary of a shoe rep who just tries to fit you with the latest shoe or who ignores your foot type. If you are flat footed or have pronation issues, a good rep will take this into consideration before recommending a shoe. Also make sure they measure both feet. Go to the store in the late afternoon so your feet are at their largest.

A good shoe that is well taken care of will last longer than a generic type tennis shoe from Payless and will be much better for your body! And I guarantee that the aerobic activity will feel much easier.

Good Fit Critical for Aerobic Shoes

On the question of good and reasonably priced aerobic shoes, I have some advice gleaned from my shoe hunting excursions:

  • Shoes have changed so much in the last two years, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the options.
  • If the shoe fits, wear it. Most shoe stores will take back unsatisfactory shoes, if the sole does not look used or marked. I take my new shoes home and wear them on the carpet for a day to see how they feel. If they hurt, take them back. A very knowledgeable sales rep once told me that if the shoe isn't comfortable when you try it on, it won't stretch enough to ever be truly comfortable.
  • You get what you pay for in shoes. A cheap brand on aerobic shoes doesn't last long. A friend of mine went the cheap route and ended up spending as much as she would have spent on a name brand pair. Even she admitted that a good name brand could be found for a reasonable price on sale.
  • Athletic shoes are always going on sale. Watch your area trends. Scout out your discount stores like, Warehouse Shoes, Famous Footwear, and even Sam's Club.
  • Go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes and try on every aerobic type and brand there. Discuss the pros and cons of each brand with the sales rep. You'll find that there isn't a whole lot of difference between brands. Nike and Reebok run narrow for me. Lady Spirit is made for a woman's foot and that's what I wear. New Balance is a relative new comer to the shoe market and has a lot of good reports on them.

In summary, fit comes before price. A bad fitting pair of shoes will hurt you as much as a poorly cushioned pair will doing aerobics. Once your foot finds the shoe, start watching for the sales! Happy Hunting!
Sonja J.

Buying Spec Needs Aerobic Shoes

Through years of trial and error, my husband and I have come to rely on national brand athletic shoe outlets. We have several within an hour's drive and it is worth it. We've also done our homework. He has flat feet and would wear out a pair in 6 months. Why? He needed a certain type of shoe. I have arthritis and also need a certain type. (The Runners World web site has all the info you need to decide what type of shoe is best for your foot, according to the shape as well as the activity, and the level of activity.)

It sounds like a bit of work, and it is, but in the long run we've saved money. Years ago, I would always try to buy bargain athletic shoes (Wal-Mart, Bradlees...) but my feet always hurt - if they didn't wear out fast - then I got to a point where I couldn't wear them from discomfort, etc... My husband went through them super fast and it seemed like we had to continually replace them. Once you do your homework, make a list (and include every name and model # you could be interested in) and hit the outlets.

The best deals are on the clearance shelves- "last years" models are less than half what this years outlet prices are. We've also come across nice surprise deals there, and once in a while there will be an advertised sale with coupons printed in the newspaper. (2 days only- 20% off, etc...)We've pretty much stuck with New Balance- they put their money back into the shoes and research, instead of glamorous ads, etc... Their shoes last and last- they're very well made and really hold up. You will pay more initially than you would at Wal-Mart, but your feet won't hurt, the shoes will last, and you won't need to replace them very often. In the end, you will save money. (and probably your feet.)

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