Author Archives: Adm1n

How To Choose The Right Shoes

Choose The Right ShoesResearch shows that our feet shrink or grow in size at periodic intervals. It is no wonder then that the size that fitted us perfectly last year is not the same this year. It is very important to select shoes that fit us well to avoid causing aches and pains in the back and legs.

Old and worn out shoes can cause severe back pain, aching feet, and extremely sore knee joints. It is time to get yourself a new shoe if your shoes have given you more than 550 miles if you use them for running or walking. If you use your shoes for sports, your shoes will start wearing out after 70 hours of active use. Most expensive shoes will show no outward wear and tear, so you cannot wait for the heel to wear out or the shoe to tear before you replace it. If your old shoe has served you well, it will be safer to go for the same brand and fit rather than trying out something new each time.

To look for the correct fit for your feet, you need to first familiarize yourself with the factors that tend to affect the fit of your shoe.

Interestingly, about 80% of our population has one leg longer than the other. In some people, one end of their foot is extremely pliant while the other end is extremely unbending. Also the knee and feet alignment varies in different people. For some people, feet turn in or out or point straight outwards. Similarly, the knees could be in a neutral position, bow out, or knock against each other. Each of these factors play a role in the actual fit of the shoe.

Knowing about the common irregularities in feet will also help you in asking for the right shoe. If you have highly arched feet, avoid motion and stability control shoes as they tend to reduce the mobility of your foot. Inserting special customized pads into your shoes will correct this irregularity. Flat footed people with no or low arches in their feet, should go for stability control or motion control shoes with a sturdy mid-sole. Those with excessive inward rolling of foot while in motion (over-pronation) can cause severe strain on lower legs, ankles, knees, and back. And those with under-pronation, that is when the outside of your foot bears the shock when your foot hits the ground, are more prone to ligament injuries in the feet. Stability shoes are ideal for those with over or under pronation, preferably with a roll bar or dual-density midsole.

It is important to buy shoes only from a store that has knowledgeable sales personnel and displays a wide choice of shoes. Although the shoe industry promotes the idea of different shoes for different uses, when it comes to athletic shoes, you need either a running shoe or a cross trainer. There are three main categories: motion control, neutral cushioning, and stability control. There are two types of sports shoes; one that is good for frequent stop-go movements, and one that is ideal for running or walking.

Always go shoe shopping only in the evenings when your feet are slightly larger than in the mornings due to the day’s activity.

You need to also try on several pairs before deciding on the one that fits you best. Then, you should wear the shoes and walk around the store for at least five minutes to gauge your level of comfort. Only select those shoes that are somewhat shaped like your foot for added comfort. Remember to take your socks with you when you go to purchase shoes. You will find out the exact fit only when you wear your shoes with the socks that you normally use. Your feet should be supported on all sides and should not flop around inside the shoe. The shoe with the best fit is one that offers some cushioning, quite a bit of flexibility, and lots of stability, and a maximum of half an inch more than your longest toe.

It is amazing what a good sports shoe can do to generate enthusiasm for outdoor activities. Wearing a good shoe with a perfect fit, can help you go the extra mile effortlessly and painlessly. A pair of good shoes is your key to an active and healthy life.

Tips for Buying Your First Pair of Walking Shoes

Pair of Walking ShoesBuying your first pair of walking shoes can seem like a daunting task with all the choices available on the market. Luckily, a few simple tips can make the process of finding the perfect pair of walking shoes for your lifestyle a lot easier.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no “best” shoe on the market. Everything depends on what fits you best, and best suits your needs. Your own personal need for support, flexibility, cushioning and your walking style all combine to affect what could make up the best shoe for them.

Go Shoe Shopping At The End of the Day

One of the most important tips involves when you go shoe shopping. Going after a walk, or at the end of the day allows for a fit more like what you will be experiencing while walking, since your foot will be slightly swollen. It is also important to wear the same style of socks that you will be wearing during walks, as something that small can make a huge difference, especially when compounded over many hikes.

Often, your walking shoe size can differ greatly from your regular shoe size because of the swelling that occurs during walking. For a lot of people, the walking shoe size will range from being a half size to a size and half greater than their regular shoe size.

Know What Walking Shoes Means

Shoes for walking require different features than shoes for running or athletics. Walking shoes should be flexible. Test this by attempting to bend and twist the shoes. You’ll want the shoe to move with your feet as you flex them during steps instead of pushing back at you. The heel of the shoe should be flat. It should also bevel inward, instead of flaring out, to keep your walking stance correct. Heels that flare out prevent the natural rolling motion of your steps, which can cause potential injuries. Flared heels are typically designed to provide running stability, but can prevent the natural heel strike and roll necessary for walkers.

Looking for Proper Fit

The same as any other shoe, a proper fit is essential. A shoe that meets all your needs but fits poorly is useless, and can cause you harm, such as blisters. All shoes should have enough room in the toe area to allow for slight movement of the feet inside the shoes during the forward movement. Typically a, thumb’s width between your toes and the end of the shoe is what is recommended.

Wiggle your toes to see if they can move freely. If so, the shoe is likely the correct size. Also, there should be no pinching of the shoe anywhere. Common areas of possible pinching or rubbing include the back of the foot and heel, the arch and the ball of the foot. If any part of the shoe seems to rub your foot, trying on another shoe or a larger size is recommended, as this rubbing will cause blisters and calluses over time. It is also important that your arch is well supported, especially if you have high arches, which can potentially “fall.”

Similar to the process of trying on other shoes, allow yourself enough time to walk around in the store to truly get accustomed to the fit. For walking shoes, it is especially recommended that you walk around the store for a few minutes. After all, you will be solely walking in these shoes, and this is the best way to test the fit and the options of the shoe.

The right shoe should feel nice immediately – don’t think about buying shoes in hopes that after a few wears they’ll feel better! Walking around in the shoes for several minutes can also help to balance out the fact that your feet are going to be less swollen than usual, thanks to the cool temperatures of the store.

Know Your Walking Environment

Where are you going to be walking most often? Yes, the environment in which you will be walking can make a difference in what shoe will be best for you. Some people find that it can make so much of a difference that they have different walking shoes for different environments.

If you often walk on hard surfaces, walking in the store will give you a good idea how well the shoe will serve you. Walking on hard surfaces often requires a shoe with better cushioning and shock absorbent qualities. Outdoor walking, especially on uneven paths, requires that you find a shoe with good grips or treads to prevent any slips or falls.

With these tips, you can feel empowered to buy your first pair of walking shoes, knowing you can shop to best suit your needs – and your feet!

Clean Running Shoes

Clean Running ShoesIts spring and you’ve been looking forward to getting outdoors and using your new running shoes. Haven’t you? Unfortunately, early spring weather can be pretty rough on running shoes. Though the water and mud, created by a spring thaw, can age shoes dramatically, a few simple steps may help to keep them looking, if not brand new, than certainly their best.

Keep Them Clean

The key here is to remember to clean your shoes after every run. Don’t let it slide. Not cleaning only increases the chance that your shoes will become dirty and worn out more quickly.

Spring means sun, but it also means rain, and water is the most dangerous element a shoe will come in contact with, bar none. Water, alone is a nuisance, causing wear on a shoe, however, a Continually wet environment will eventually destroy a shoe’s structure, as moisture tends to remain locked in the shoe fibers, casing the shoe to deteriorate.

Leave your shoes in a puddle overnight and see what a season’s worth of rain can do to a shoe. That’s what falling rain does over time. Next to mold, salt water is probably the worst offender as far as shoes are concerned. It eats them away, much like it eats paint from a car.

Yes, come spring, rain may always be in the air, but it’s also in the streets and paths we walk or run on each day. Don’t forget the dirt, grime, mud and salt coming from where we walk in our lives and what it does to our clothing in general. Even sedentary paths are chock full of deteriorating chemicals. Mud, ashes and other debris, prove totally noxious to the shoe, both in structure and appearance. Other elements found in thawing water can damage to our shoes too: Icy chips can scratch and scrape them, pebbles can stick into the bottoms of soles and mud can turn them brown or even get itself lodged in its creases. If we put them away in this condition, they’ll stay that way. Here’s an alternative: Clean your shoes after wearing then.

This is a simple suggestion that may save you time and money in the future. A brisk brushing off of the entire shoe, after you wear it is your first and best way to clean the shoe. Even when wet, a course shoe brush works best if brushed briskly over the entire shoe, including the soles. A toothbrush works well for the edges and is great for brushing out debris from the soles. If a toothbrush isn’t handy, you can use a number of objects to get dirt and debris out of the creases, such as Q-Tips, screw drivers or even tooth picks, provided you’re careful.

Any of these remedies for environmental wear helps keep degradation to the shoe minimal and helps to keep the integrity of the shoe intact.

Keep Them Dry

After the cleaning process, it’s a good idea to remove the insoles, if you can and also to stuff the shoes with newspaper. This last measure not only helps make drying time faster, but it will absorb any water that may have penetrated into the shoe itself. Stuffing also helps to retain the shape of a shoe. If you have time and need to dry them in a hurry, you can try a fan. Never put your shoes on a radiator, hot air device or anything flammable. Always store your running shoes in a dry area.

The Rotation Method

One way runners have found to increase the life of their running shoes is to have several pairs. There are many advantages to this. Alternating shoes keeps them cleaner and dryer and contributes to the overall life of the shoe, by cutting down its wear.

It’s a pretty handy trick too, if one pair isn’t dry and you need another pair, you have another. The more pairs you have, the cleaner each pair will be. Also, the wear on each pair is decreased by the number of pairs you own. You can have one pair for every day of the week, in every color, and they’ll last years! Many different types and styles exist for running shoes these days: Some for walking around casually, some for hiking, biking mountain climbing and track.

Having different types of running shoes has many positive benefits that go beyond your fashion sense. Multiple pairs cut down on skin blisters, for example, because the same shoe isn’t rubbing on the same spot continually. Remember too that different styles exist for different activities you may enjoy. This changes the way it fits on your foot. It looks different and feels different because it is different. Different parts of the foot are used depending upon the style. Some styles of running shoes are specifically designed to target certain muscles of the body.

Start with picking a pair that suits your particular lifestyle at the moment and then expand. At the same time, you’ll be expanding on your exercise routine and your activities. Hopefully, you’ll be doing it all in clean running shoes.

Things to Look for When Buying Womens Shoes

Buying Womens ShoesWomen’s shoes come in different styles, shapes and sizes. They also come in different widths; narrow medium, and wide shoes. As a woman with large size legs I find it challenging to choose or to get a great a pair of shoes that will fits. Most of the companies do not make large sizes shoes for women. This is why when I buy a shoe, it must be worth the price, the comfort and the sweat.

Here are some pointers that I use to find shoes that I have stayed with for a long time and with no regrets attached.

Size of the shoe.

The first thing you want to look for, and it goes without saying, is the size. It is simple, but it can be complex. Shoe companies have different outcomes when it comes to sizes. Some shoes run small and some other run large for the same sizes.

It is ridiculous.

I know that for sure since Aerosoles shoes do run large for size 11 sometimes ( not all styles). Do not just pick a shoe because it is your size. Try on the shoe and see if it fits. The thing to consider nowadays is to look at your range so if you are a size 11 like me you have to consider size 10 1/2, size 11, size 11 1/2 and probably size 12 for those that run really small, if it is a great shoes that you really want.

Another thing to consider in size is the width; medium, wide and extra wide. If you have large size legs then the wide sizes are very crucial. I have slender legs, not so thin as to warrant a narrow shoe but definitely now a wide size or extra wide unless in special conditions, as you will see below. I mainly do medium size shoes.

I have found that a size 10 (wide) may fit my legs if it is an open shoe or sandals or wedges. With wedge shoes I look for size 10 wide most of the time. They fit well and leave toe room. I have to be carefully not to have my toes sticking out but it is always great getting a smaller size shoe for large size legs. It trims the size.

And for those that wear narrow try the narrow and the medium. Some medium shoes would really fit well and give you a great toe room in the shoe.

Look for comfort in a shoe.

The other thing to look for in a shoe is comfort. Having large legs I sometimes just get desperate and pick up a shoe because I am tired and I really want to have a shoe on or end my search. A big mistake.

Comfort is very crucial. I have a pair of Clarks shoes that have stayed with me for years. They were comfortable right out of the box and they have been comfortable all through.

Some shoes do require a break in. What is a break in? You wear the shoe they will hurt or pinch for a few days then fit. Such shoes sometimes end up being the best shoes because once they have expanded they will feet your leg and toes really nice and can stay that way for a long time. The only down side with this breaking in thing is that, if they are bad shoes and you walk in a long time with your toes crunched and squeezed they may leave you with a life long blister. And as a precaution, no matter what, if the shoe is pinching right out of the shelf or after a few minutes in your legs,do not squeeze in it, it you may leave you with deformities for life.

On the other side when you slip into a shoe and it fits well and leaves some great toe room, watch out, such shoes may expand and expand and after some months they will look like baskets. I have some Aerosole shoes that have done that with me and it has not been good.

Look for shoes that compliment your wardrobe.

I love black shoes since they can go with just about anything in my wardrobe. So,yes, black should be one of the colors to look for.

With the current times and trends women are adorning some striking, bold-colored shoes colors that are great. Red is great color if you can find a toned down leather in red. I have seen some green that would do well with long skirts. Some people go for white shoes, but I have never been one to consider white shoes so much.

The best thing is to look at your wardrobe and buy a shoe or sandal that will go with many of the clothes in there. Well, unless you are Gayle and you can afford 1000 pairs of shoes. 1000 pairs of shoes is not good for the environment if you think about it. Less is more. Help others if you have more to spare and spread the love.

Choose Your Heel size According to Situation.

Heel size, heel size, very crucial. Rule of thumb: If you are going for an official presentation then choose a raised dress shoe. There is no forgiving if you are putting on an official attire with flat shoes. A raised shoe gives you the edge. And of course you will not put in a raised wedge sandal for an official presentation or with a suit.

Long skirts, long summer dresses and shorts are great with raised wedge sandals and flat shoes.

The heel you prefer depends on what you are doing and how much walking you will do with the shoe and the occasion involved. Just make sure they are comfortable.

Price of the shoe.

That is left for each one of us depending on our pockets. Men have it easy ( at least my husband) they buy one expensive pair of shoes and they stay with that shoe for years, well worth for their money. With women we love having new things over and over again. Sometimes a cheap shoe goes a long way, most times cheap shoes are just that, they are cheap, they look cheap, they spoil, they look fake and they are uncomfortable.

Expensive shoes can get you in debt and still pinch your toes and bruise your ankle.

The main thing to look for is comfort and if the shoe compliments your wardrobe. Buy shoes that will go with you a long way at a price that you can afford. Simple.

The shoe brand.

Some companies make shoes for money and others makes shoes with the customer in mind. I always look for brands that tend to make shoes that stay a long time. I look for brands that make comfortable shoes in my size. I look for brands that evolve with the times. I look for brands that put quality in their equation. I look for brands that make shoes that are true to size.

I look for companies that price shoes in relation to normal people..the 99 % of they do not target the chosen few. Companies that make a shoe that we the majority can afford and feel satisfied with the purchase.

The shoe brand you choose is subjective. As for me, having large size legs I am limited to the brands that I can buy from, mainly Aerosoles and Clarks if I am hurried for time and others if I dig dipper. If I had smaller legs I would have a plethora of brands to choose from and others to snub.

I know you have your own reasons and brands for buying a particular shoe. For all women it all boils down to affordability, comfort and the purpose of the shoe as the main reasons for womens shoes. Choose wisely and tip your heel.

Show Shoes the Same Type of Care That You Show Your Clothes

Show Shoes the Same Type of Care That You Show Your ClothesWe treat our shoes much more roughly than we treat our clothes. This makes sense from a certain perspective because shoes are designed to handle impact and direct content with the ground. Shoes are also made from more durable materials than your clothes. But if you think about the cost of a good pair of shoes, the time it takes to buy them, and the attachment we often feel to them; then you realize that it doesn’t make sense to treat our shoes so poorly.

I’m not suggesting that you build your shoes a shrine or spend every second trying to avoid grass, mud or scuffs. What I’m suggesting is that you think about your shoes as an investment and as an important part of your wardrobe. If you look at them this way, then it makes sense to give them more care.

A shoe-lover or a cobbler can talk about a half-dozen parts of the shoe (or more), but for our purposes you only need to think about 3 parts: the sole, the outer shell and the inner shoe. If you take a look at each of these areas and do a little maintenance, then your shoes will last much longer and look great whenever you need them.

The Sole of the Matter

The sole of the shoe is the part that you walk on. It takes damage every day. It absorbs the friction of concrete, the impact of stairs and the stabbing of rocks, glass and other stab-y things you walk on every day. Maintaining the soles of your shoes is the key to protecting the bottoms of your feet.

For Soles, you need to look at 2 things:

  1. The wear of the sole: How thick is the sole, is the thickness even, are there any holes or chunks missing?
  2. The attachment of the sole: Is the sole flopping off, is there a gap between it and the rest of the shoe?

Your soles are going to wear down over time. And if your sole was glued on or the stitching is weak, then you are going to see your soles start to come off over time. Luckily, both of these issues can be repaired for far less than the cost of buying a new pair of shoes.

For athletic shoes, there isn’t much you can do because these soles are usually all rubber and they are not designed to be repaired. But the soles on men’s and women’s casual and dress shoes (including heels) can be repaired. Often it will only take an hour at a shoe repair place to have your old sole stripped off and a new one put on. The price is normally only 20-40 dollars.

If you check the wear and the stitching on your shoes every 2-3 months, you will catch the damage before it gets too bad and you can get it repaired at low cost. This can be the difference between buying a new pair of shoes every 18 months and buying a new pair every 3 years. That difference in replacement times will save most people hundreds of dollars per year and a lot more if you have a large shoe collection.

Taking a Look Outside

The outside of your shoe is the part that everyone sees and that you are judged by. The key thing here is to make sure that get rid of scratches, replace the laces and keep them polished.

With non-athletic shoes, most outer damage comes from either the weather or shoe contact with surfaces. The main things to do are pretty simple.

  • Put your shoes away when you get home. Don’t just stick them under the bed or throw them in a closet. If you put your shoes on a shelf or at least place them in their own space, then they are less likely to get damaged by other shoes and things falling on them. You can find inexpensive shoe organizers that will let you protect your shoes and save space.
  • Wipe your shoes down a couple of times a week or any time you walk through mud, dust, grasses, etc. This will keep the elements from permanently discoloring your shoes and also make it easier to see scratches and scuffs.
  • Use a protectant spray on leather, nubuck, felt or suede. Be ready for the coloring to change slightly, so you should test on a small area on the back of the shoe before applying everywhere. You can get protectant for canvas and other materials, but animal materials tend to take the most damage from moisture.
  • Polish and shine your shoes at least once per month. You don’t need to get the specific color shoe polish to match your shoes, just by neutral polish. The keep thing with polishing is applying a good amount of polish and then buffing them to a high-shine. Make sure to by a good brush or cloth for applying the polish and then a have a strong towel for buffing.
  • If you have deep scratches or scuffs, then take the shoes to a cobbler. Depending on the damage, they can often the scratch, so it is unnoticeable.

It’s What’s on the Inside That Counts

The inside of your shoe seems like the area that you’d be most aware of, but many people don’t think about it unless they have a pebble in there. You can keep your feet comfortable, dry and stink-free with a few simple moves.

  1. Rotate your shoes – This really applies to all parts of the shoe, but the more you wear a pair of shoes the more damage they take. If you rotate through 2 or 3 pair during the month, then they will all last longer.
  2. Use shoe trees – Your shoes will stay comfortable longer if they retain their shape. Use shoe trees (cedar works best), to keep the shoe in shape.
  3. Air them out – Take out your laces and pull out the tongues of the shoe everyone once in a while, so the shoe can get some air. You should definitely do this whenever moisture gets inside the shoe.
  4. Use powder or special insoles to reduce the smell – this is more about hygiene than aesthetics. If you keep the shoes dry and use a powder like Gold Bond, then you are much less likely to get athletes foot or other foot ailments.

Give Your Shoes Some TLC

I recently threw out about 5 pairs of shoes that I’d have anywhere from 2-6 years. Some of them were gym shoes that I’d gotten good use out of, but a couple of them were shoes that I just didn’t take good care of. It pained me to realize that I’d spent money on these shoes and had really like them, but hadn’t been conscientious enough to keep them from looking terrible.

If you have shoes you want to hold onto or just want to save money, then this article will help you. A little TLC and preventive care will help you keep your favorite shoes in rotation for years.

I’ve always liked shoes and recently started buying more of them again. Before going shopping, I do an inventory of what I have and have found that many good pairs of shoes don’t get the attention that they need.

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Triathlon Running Shoe

Triathlon Running ShoeWhen I first started into Triathlon Training, I had no idea the amount or the specificity of the equipment that I would need. I of course knew that I needed a bicycle, running shoes, and some clothing, but had no idea about watches, bike shoes, aero helmets, aero wheels, wetsuits, or any of the other myriad of items. In fact, my first running shoes were simply some I picked up at a local sports store for cheap. I just had not idea.

When I started getting more serious about my racing and my running, I knew that I needed to purchase some shoes that would enable me to have the best running performance. Once again, I was at a loss of where to turn to start this process. I looked online and searched for different items about running shoes. I found a lot of information specifically about running marathons or distance races. I did not find a lot of information about specific ideas for triathlon shoes. I took some of the ideas from the information that I found and began the process of purchasing shoes.

Along the way, I have discovered several different ideas for selecting shoes that I would like to share in this post.

Get Fit – No this is not a redundant idea of getting more physically fit, but rather get fit to the type of shoe you need. Most running specific stores will help you discover which shoe will be the best for you. Many of these stores will take you through a series of tests to determine which shoe fit will be best for you. Having done this a few times now, the process goes something like this. First, the sales representative will talk to you a little bit about what you do for running, how long you have been running, and what your goals are in running. I look and ask for someone who has been with the store a while so as to get the best kind of discussion about my needs as a runner especially since I focus on Triathlon specific running. Second, they will either electronically, by using a special pad you stand on, or manually, by using the old sizing metal platform that is always cold, they will determine your size and width of your foot. Third, they will head to the back to bring you up a sample shoe for you to do some exercise in. I always know that the sales person is going to pick a shoe they like, so I am leery of just latching on to the first shoe. The sample shoe will be a neutral shoe with no lift or assistance to keep your foot straight. Fourth, the sales rep will have you get on a treadmill and run for 5-10 minutes while they record the way your feet fall. You will want to wear something that you can run in comfortably. The last session I had like this, the gentleman also recorded me from the side to make sure I was landing correctly. After you finish this brief running session, the sales rep will watch the video with you. He is looking for supination, which is the opposite of pronation and refers to the outward roll of the foot during normal motion. If you have too much supination then you will need to have a shoe that will help to balance your feet. I have a pretty neutral fall to my feet so this has not been a problem for me. At one of the places I have visited, they had me stand on a glass screen that took a measurement of the pressure points of my foot. This helped to understand the arch level of the foot. After all of this data is collected the sales rep will choose a shoe for you to try. This fitting process is very important.

Get Choosy – The process of choosing your shoe with the data that has been handed to you by the sales rep is one that you need to take your time with. I have found that the choosing of the look and feel of the shoe is very important. If you don’t like the look of the shoe, then you will feel less than enthused about wearing it even for running. If you don’t like the feel then you will not run. This choice is critical. You might be a bit choosy about the brand of shoe, but for me I want something that is going to give me the support and comfort for a lot of miles. Most trainers will last you 300-500 miles, so choose wisely which shoe you go with. Many times, the store will enable you to run on the treadmill or on a mini-track inside the store, some will even let you go outside to run in the shoes. Take enough time to where you are convinced these are the shoes you will run in for the duration of your training and racing.

Get More – Yes, get more than one pair. Typically, what I do is find the right kind of shoe at the shop. I certainly don’t want to have someone spend 30 minutes to an hour to help me find a shoe, and then I just go home and buy it online. That is not genuine and is a terrible practice. I do however, go home and begin to look at other pairs. You want to have a rotation of shoes. When I first started rotating shoes, I bought 3 of the same type of shoe. Two of them I swapped back and forth on training days, then the third was for racing. This process worked pretty well, but I have since been told that you should have 2-3 pairs of shoes during training that are different kinds of shoes. They might have a different amount of cushion or a different amount of drop. The shoe drop is the amount of drop from the heel to the toe. You can have anything from 0 to 10 mm of drop or more. I am trying to have 3 different amounts of drop in my shoes now. The theory is that you use different foot, leg, and calf muscles with the different amounts of drop. Therefore, if you use different types then you get a stronger overall performance. You then will want to select a shoe for racing. If you are doing a sprint race, you might want to purchase a shoe that doesn’t have a lot of cushion and thus is lighter for running. If you are doing a longer race than you will want more cushion for the long distances. Much of this process of choosing your racing shoe comes through trial and error.

Get Set-up – The last tip for getting the right triathlon shoe is to get your shoe setup correctly. What I mean by this is you are not going to have a ton of time during transitions to tie your shoe or get it slipped on. You will want to make quick work of getting your running shoes on for the run leg of the race. I prefer to use elastic shoestrings for this process. The way I get my shoe setup is I purchase my elastic shoe strings online. I then change out the shoelaces and pout the elastic ones in. Next, I put the shoe on with very loose shoe strings. From this point, I tighten up the shoe laces around my foot already in the shoe. If you do this before you get your foot in the shoe then certain parts of the shoe will be too tight. I then make the appropriate adjustments to feel comfortable with the new elastic shoe strings. I do not want any pinching. I then head out for a run. I want to keep track of the mileage for the shoe, so I will know when to trade them out for new ones. You want your shoe to fit well, but not too tight as you have a lot of miles of training and running.
I hope these tips will help you to choose your running shoe for triathlons.

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How to Tell If Your Shoe Fits

How to Tell If Your Shoe FitsAlthough it seems obvious, knowing if your shoe fits are often the mistakes we usually make. Most prefer shoes that are a bit bigger as it allows for better room while others prefer smaller sized shoes for comfort. In order to find your true shoe size, use a measuring device at the store. But that’s just part of the many things to tell if the shoe fits.

Measure your shoe size

To find your true shoe size, use the Bannock shoe measuring device usually available at the shoe store. The Bannock foot measuring device is designed to indicate your correct shoe size by measuring the heel-to-toe, arch, and width of your feet. With these measurements, you will be able to find a properly fitted shoes.

Some people find that after measuring their feet, they have one foot longer or wider than the other. If you have this feat, don’t worry as this is normal and there is nothing to worry about. This is usually because of the formation of bunions and tailor bunions that have a genetic predisposition and will change the anatomical alignment of the foot; thus making it wider or longer than your other foot.

The rule of the thumb

The rule of the thumb when buying a pair of shoes is there should be a thumb’s spacing between the tip of the longest toe in your foot to the end of the shoe. Use the first, second, or third toes as landmarks as they are usually the longest toes in your foot.

Try shoes in the afternoon

Your feet swell during the day because walking slightly increases your blood flow. If you must shop in the morning, don’t buy shoes that are snug.

Buy shoes that fit the bigger foot

Never force your foot into a shoe that is either too small or too tight. Wearing shoes that don’t fit can cause foot, ankle, knee and back problems. It can even throw you off-balance and make you walk funny. If it is too narrow, you can develop ingrown nails, corns, and your skin will be irritated causing blister formation.

Wear the type of socks you would wear for the shoe you are buying

Don’t wear your basketball socks nor even try to wear ski socks if you are buying leather shoes for work. Don’t fit your shoes without socks either. The goal here is not just to make it fit, but also to provide overall comfort especially when wearing socks.

Walk around your shoes before buying them

Walk around the store and see how it fits before buying them. Once you have the shoes at home, try walking around and wear them for a few hours. This should give you a better feel for the shoes than trying them on briefly at the store. Make sure that when trying it on, you shouldn’t scuff the shoes, as the store won’t accept it if you need to replace the one you just bought.

Shoes just expand, not get longer

Usually, leather shoes expand and widen with wear, but only by a bit. However, shoes don’t get longer. If your toes are crunched at their tips, don’t expect it to be better with wear. Either go up a half-size, or find another shoe that is a perfect fit.

UK, US, and European sizes are different

You may find that in some shoe store, you are sized 6, in other stores you are sized 39, and in some you are sized 5.5. This is because the shoe manufacturers use different sizes and they usually base it on where the shoe was manufactured. Thankfully, shoe stores have shoe conversion tables you can use as a guide. Also, shoes nowadays have shoe sizes converted to UK, US, and European sizes.

How to Buy the Perfect Shoe

Perfect ShoeYou could apply the following principles to buying any shoe but I am looking specifically at exercise shoes, no matter what the intended use, e.g. running, walking, basketball, tennis or cross-training.

When buying shoes, getting to proper fit is arguably, the most important factor. Many athletic shoe retailers will have specially trained staff to measure your foot, assess the biomechanics of your gait and advise on the best type of shoe for your planned activities.

The second factor to consider is to make sure you spend enough. It is not a case of finding the cheapest shoe available but rather a case of working out what your budget is and spending enough to buy the best shoe for you. Whatever your budget, it will be easier to make a well-informed, smart choice if you follow these tips:

Check for Wear

The way that your old shoes have worn will be the best guide for deciding what features you need in your new shoes. For example, if the outside edge of the heel area is worn the most, you tend to roll along the outer edge of your shoe when you run. This is known as Inversion, although many retailers will mistakenly refer to it as supinating or under pronating. Runners with inversion typically have rigid, immobile feet and should look for shoes with heavy cushioning and soft midsole with less medial support. These shoes are usually built on a curved last and encourage foot movement.

If your heels shoes have worn mostly on the inside edge, you experience Eversion when you run, often mistakenly called over pronating by retailers. If you have an eversion problem, you should look for shoes that feature a medial post, a polyurethane midsole and a carbon-rubber insole. Most shoes for eversion correction are built on a straight last for more stability and support.

Examine the new Shoe

Your shoes need to be well made and be free of any flaw, or fault, that might introduce discomfort. Examine the shoes inside and out for raised stitching or stitching that is coming loose and if you find any, grab another pair of shoes. Minor issues like these can become major sources of discomfort and possible injury over the long haul. Also examine the intersection of the upper and sole of the shoe. Try to peel them apart and if there is any separation, choose another shoe.

Try different sizes

The sizes on the boxes and tags on the shoes really mean very little. Sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and from model to model. Use the advice from the (qualified) retail assistant to find a starting point and work up and down (size wise) from there. Remember, proper fit and comfort are the be all and end all.

Get a three-way fit

This is not as complicated as it sounds. Put simply, it means:

1. The longest of your toes should clear the end of the shoe by 5 – 15 mm.

2. The ball of the foot should fit comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.

3. The heel should fit snugly without any slippage.

Try on both shoes

Most people typically have one foot slightly larger than the other, so getting a perfect fit for the smaller foot will mean problems for the larger foot. If you already know which foot is larger, base your decisions on how the shoe fits that foot. Finally, stand up after lacing up the shoe to allow your foot to flatten out and spread out under your body weight.

Shop late

After you have been up and down on your feet all day, walking, running, whatever you normal day entails, your feet can swell by up to 5 percent between morning and night. Buying a shoe too early in the day could result in you purchasing a shoe that ends up pinching by the end of the day.

Don’t force it

Do not try to follow the example of Cinderella’s ugly sisters and try to force your foot into a shoe that is simply too small or one that allows your foot to literally swim around inside the shoe. There are still some badly trained, or unscrupulous, retailers who will try to rationalise the purchase and they have a number of tricks you should be aware of:

1. “That’s a good snug fit.” Snug really means tight, perhaps too tight.

2. “It will stretch with wear.” No it won’t. Modern shoe technology is designed to ensure the shoe maintains it shape and size. It may become more comfortable as it conforms to the shape of your foot, but it will not stretch.

3. “If you wear thicker socks it will fit perfectly.” Does that mean you also need a sock wardrobe? Before you go to the shoe store, choose a pair of socks you would normally wear with the shoes and take them with you or, wear them to the store. If the shoes don’t fit while you are wearing those socks, they will not fit. Don’t buy them.

The Shoes You Wear

The Shoes You WearWHAT style shoe should I wear? Is this my correct size? How can I tell if the shoes are really well made? These questions and many more must be answered each time a pair of shoes is selected and bought.

It is important to answer these questions wisely, for the purchase of a new pair of shoes can have a profound effect on a person’s overall health and happiness. Ill-fitting footwear can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, even leading to headaches, backaches and leg cramps. To a large degree, painful foot ailments such as corns, nail troubles, toe deformities and flat feet can be avoided by a careful selection of footwear.

A person may walk over 75,000 miles in a lifetime. ‘Why not walk those miles in comfort?

Do Not Sacrifice Comfort for Style

How, then, should one go about buying shoes? Unfortunately, many choose shoes for style rather than for comfort. More often than not, this type of buying leads to considerable pain. Further, the owner will probably cast off the shoes, being no longer able to endure this form of self-torture in the interest of fashion.

In some cases serious problems and foot deformities can result if fashion is the primary factor in selecting one’s shoes. For example, some years ago the style was pointed toes, and in this regard a letter was printed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer under the heading “What Price Style? Girl Paid Too Much–Loss of Two Toes.” The letter said:

“Like most girls I wanted to be in fashion and bought the shoes that everyone was wearing. The pointed toes and high heels were uncomfortable, but I thought that this was the price of style. You can realize how shocked I was when I went to a doctor because of painful feet and was told that I would have to have two toes amputated. This was a year ago, and since then I have heard of many other girls who have lost one or two toes.”

So, in buying shoes, do not sacrifice comfort for style. Select appropriate shoes for ‘the purpose for which they will be used: walking, working, casual, special occasions, or constant wear.

Be Sure of the Right Fit

You can buy good shoes but still end up with painful feet if you are not careful to get a good fit. Helpful in this regard is checking the time of day before you buy a pair of shoes. Why? Because if it is very early in the morning, you may not get the right fit. Since feet tend to swell somewhat as the day wears on, it is wise to buy shoes in the late afternoon. Remember, too, that hot weather will cause one’s feet to expand.

Many persons find it desirable to have their feet measured when purchasing new shoes. For one thing, sizes may vary with different makes of shoes. Some have found, too, that it is wise to stand while their feet are being measured. The foot will expand, and one is more likely to get a better all-round fit. Further, since one foot is likely to be slightly larger than the other, have both feet measured and pick a size to fit the larger foot.

Heels should be snug but not tight. Also the height and shape of the heel need to be considered, especially in women’s shoes. Women generally have four times as much foot trouble as men, largely because of high-heeled shoes. The higher the heel, the more the body is projected forward, and to maintain balance the body is bent backward at the hips. This is unnatural and results in a variety of leg and back problems if unreasonably high heels are worn over an extended period of time. Generally speaking, heels should not be higher than one and a half inches and should produce a good broad base on which to stand. Almost naillike or so-called “spike” heels are not conducive to good foot care and posture.

The widest part of your foot should spread easily across the widest part of the shoe. There should be enough room for the toes to lie straight, and the shoe should be a little longer than the longest toe. If you cannot wiggle your toes to some extent, the shoe is too small. When shoes are too tight or too short, toes may be forced back into an inverted V position called hammertoe, a common deformity. A shoe ought to be comfortable when you buy it; it is unwise to rely on a “breaking in” process to ensure comfort.

After buying a pair of shoes, you can try them on again at home, but walk only on a rug. If you have doubts about the fit, you may be able to exchange your purchase.

Children’s Shoes

Special care should be given to the selection of children’s shoes. Ill-fitting shoes are the most common cause of foot trouble among children and teen-agers. The problem often is that they outgrow their shoes. In this regard, The World Book Encyclopedia points out:

“In children from 2 to 6 years old, shoe sizes change every 4 to 8 weeks. From 6 to 10 years, sizes change every 2 or 3 months. Children from 12 to 15 should have their shoe sizes checked every 4 months. Children over 15 years old should have shoe sizes checked about every 6 months until their feet are fully developed.”

Many parents who have children that rapidly outgrow their shoes rather than wearing them out find that an inexpensive brand of shoes serves the purpose. When buying them, one can feel inside the shoes and check for rough edges that could cause discomfort.

The feet of children are growing and need careful attention to prevent deformities in later life. In the United States the American Medical Association estimates that 50 to 80 percent of children have some foot defects. So it is good to leave some “growing room” when selecting children’s shoes, possibly three quarters of an inch of space in the toe area. Watch for signs of wear developing in one place consistently, for this may indicate that the shoes are too small or poorly fitted and could produce foot abnormalities. It usually is not a good policy to pass shoes down from one child to the next, for shoes mold themselves to the characteristics of the wearer’s foot.

Look for Quality and Workmanship

Especially when shoes are for adults, quality and good workmanship are important, because you want them to last. Examine carefully the shoes you plan to buy. Be on the watch for signs of poor and careless construction. On the uppers, loose threads, seams with rough edges and excess bulk, enlarged needle holes and noticeable traces of adhesives are all things to watch for when buying shoes. Also check the sole stitch; if it is uneven and runs off the edge, it is a sign of poor workmanship.

Is the shoe lined? It should be, at least at the top opening, to prevent stretching and friction and to absorb perspiration.

Low-priced shoes are not always a bargain when it comes to durability, appearance and comfort. Really comfortable shoes usually cost more. Do not judge the durability of a shoe by mere thickness of outer soles. Durability depends more on the quality of workmanship and of the leather.

Shoe Care

Important to the shoe’s life is proper care. Yet shoes are often one of the most neglected articles in a person’s wardrobe. When you buy a new pair of shoes, it is wise to lubricate them with a good polish before wearing them; this will protect the finish.

The first few times that you wear new shoes it is good to be sure that the tongues and laces are smooth and straight. Then they are likely to stay that way for the life of the shoe, but if they are started off crooked, they may stay that way.

A shoehorn helps in putting on shoes, and it is good to loosen the laces when removing them. This prevents seams from ripping and the back from breaking down.

If you have more than one pair of shoes, you can considerably lengthen their life by wearing one pair one day, and a different pair the next day. The airing between wearings helps to prevent perspiration from rotting the leather. As for the shoes not in use, many persons find it beneficial to put a form or shoe tree in them. This prevents curling and wrinkling. However, the type of form used should not cut off the free circulation of air and thus prevent the shoe from airing properly.

From time to time shoes should receive a cleaning. Wash with a moist cloth, sponge or brush, preferably using leather soap. This removes encrusted foreign matter and permits the polish to be worked in more freely. Do not neglect the edge of the sole and heel in the cleaning process. A brisk rub with a cloth warms the leather, making it more receptive to the polish.

Apply a moderate amount of shoe polish and work it in well with an applicator. A powder puff does a fine job as applicator and can often be kept inside a can of polish. Rub the shoe briskly with a polishing cloth. This works the wax into the leather, producing a dry, hard finish and leaving no excess wax. The luster will last for some time and can be renewed by a brisk wiping. To maintain good appearance, repeat this process as often as necessary, possibly once a week if the shoes are worn consistently.

Do not neglect to have heels and soles replaced as needed. Besides looking shabby, run-over heels and shoes out of shape place a strain on the feet.

The shoes you wear definitely have a great effect on your health and your enjoyment of life. Therefore, you are wise if you choose your footwear carefully, avoiding the excesses of fashion, keeping in mind the need for comfort, durability and a pleasing appearance.

Running It’s A Shoe Thing

Running It's A Shoe ThingRunning shoes are the most basic equipment that a runner has. It gives you support where it is needed, absorbs shock from the impact, prevents road injuries and lets you perform better. For this very reason, the shoe market industry has grown vastly. These companies invested substantial amount and effort in incorporating new science and technologies to meet every runner’s needs.

For this very reason, there are hundreds of choices for running shoes that leave runners, especially those who are still beginners, clueless. While most of the running shoes will feel comfortable when you first try them on, the real test of the shoes’ performance and supporting abilities is when you hit several miles on the road. You can figure out that the ideal shoe for you won’t be your running buddy’s perfect shoe, not even the shoe’s brand, but has more to do with the shape of your foot and your running style.

The Wet Test and Gait Analysis

Your chances of landing in a quality pair of running shoes increases when you know your foot shape and your running gait. The “wet test” is a test to give you a basic idea of what kind of shoes you will need based on the height of your arch. You just have to take an imprint of your wet foot on a brown paper bag and examine the contours especially the band between the balls of the feet to the forefoot.

If the imprint shows almost your whole foot is left behind, with hardly any curving inwards where your arch is, then you have very low, flexible arches or flat feet. Most overpronating runners are flat-footed and they can be better off with stability or motion-control shoes.

On the other hand, if there is a very big curve between the ball of your foot and your heel or it might seems like the band between your heel and toe is non-existing, then you have high-arched feet. High-arched runners need more impact protection. It means that neutral-cushioned shoes are recommended for them.

If your foot is somewhere between the two descriptions mentioned before, then you have a normal arch. There is a slight curve inward but not too much. Depending on your weight, you can choose shoes from all running shoe categories.

On the other hand, the Gait Analysis is a more elaborate wet test that takes in your running gait style in consideration. It is conducted in shoe stores so the shoe specialist can correctly identify the ideal shoe for you. They will look at your foot in motion so they can assess the proper biomechanics and your rate of pronation. Pronation is the inward rolling of the foot. A biomechanically efficient runner is someone who follows the natural gait cycle: landing on the outside edge of heel and rolling through to push off from toes. If you have excessive inward rolling of foot, also known as overpronation, or excessive outward rolling of foot, or supination, you have poor biomechanics and more vulnerable to injuries. Getting your gait analyzed is very advantageous because you would be able to buy the correct footwear to avoid future problems.

The Four Shoe Categories

There are four main running shoe categories. Although most shoe manufacturers do not use the same categories when describing their footwear, you can easily identify that some shoe models can fall in between these four categories.

First category is the neutral-cushioned shoes. These shoes have maximized midsole cushioning but with minimal arch support. They are highly recommended for normal to high-arched runners or those who tend to midfoot or forefoot strike.

The second category is the motion-control shoes. These shoes have maximum stability and usually have support on the medial (the big toe – arch) side of the shoe. They are suitable for flat-footed runners who are moderate to severe overpronators. It is also recommended for heavy runners who seek supportive shoes.

The third category has a good balance on support and midsole cushioning and it is called stability shoes. These shoes are recommended for runners who have low to normal arches and have mild to moderate overpronation.

The first three are categorized by the runner’s biomechanical needs. In contrast, the fourth category, the performance shoes, are more specialized. They are recommended for racing and if used for training, by biomechanically efficient runners. Amongst the shoes, the performance shoes are the lightest. Because of their light weight, they usually have varying amount of support and cushioning.

Other Factors to Consider

Maybe you already have an idea what running shoe you should get but you also have to consider other factors that might help you in choosing your ideal shoe.

First, know where you strike the most and the hardest. You can look at your old shoes and observe the wear patterns of the shoe. You will need a pair that has extra cushioning to the area where you strike, also, a very durable outsole.

Second, if you are a supinator (you roll your foot outward), look for a shoe with soft midsole foam and a curved last. You must not use motion-control shoes especially those with medial post for stability.

Third, if you are wearing orthotics look, for shoes that are roomy enough to accommodate it. Most running shoes have removable sock liner and you can replace them with your orthotic. You can also consult your podiatrist to know what type of shoe would go well with it. The podiatrist will probably recommend a neutral-cushioned shoe with a lot of support or for extreme overpronators, a motion-controlled shoe.

Fourth, if you have wide feet look for running shoes with wide toe boxes. As a rule in picking the right size for a running shoe, there should be a thumb’s space between your longest toes to the end of the shoe. On the other hand, if you have narrow feet, there are lacing techniques to help you avoid slippage. You can also look at performance shoes as they tend to be narrow.

In conclusion, choosing a running shoe can be an overwhelming task. In determining how to choose a running shoe, your choice can make it or break it. Depending on it, you can run in comfort or in pain, or you can stay in shape or get injured.