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Pick the Perfect Pair of Shoes for Your Workout

Usually when people pick out a pair of shoes, they go for two things: the right size and a look that they like. While this may work for a sexy pair of heels or some casual sneaks to wear with jeans, when it comes to fitness shoes, they aren’t a fashion statement: they are a piece of fitness equipment.

Just like when you invest in equipment for your home gym, everyone’s needs are different. Someone who works out in a gym is going to need different shoes than someone who prefers to run trails in the sunshine, or someone who prefers a game of pick up basketball is going to have different needs than someone who taking a Zumba class.

There are a lot of different kinds of shoes you can choose to workout in, but choosing the right type can mean the difference between a comfortable, effective workout, or pain and overuse injuries.


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How Often You Should Replace Your Exercise Shoes

This guest post comes from Paige Corley, a Program Director at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge.

The question of replacing your exercise shoes is a toughie and varies depending on which activity you are doing, how often and at what intensity. Honestly, I don’t have an exact answer for you, but here are some things to consider when deciding if your shoes are in need of replacing:

  • Active Individuals: (running/walking 3-4 times a week; lower mileage) your running/walking/cross-training shoes should be replaced at least a couple of times per year.
  • Running Enthusiasts: If you are an avid runner or walker (exercise more than 4 times a week) you might need to replace them every 3-4 months.
  • Endurance Runners: If you are training for a triathlon, half- or full-marathon you will probably need to replace them every 2-3 months.
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The Pros and Cons of Barefoot Running Shoes

January is the prime time for fitness fads as people resolve to get in better shape and lose weight for the year ahead.  The latest fad for runners?  Barefoot running, a fitness style that lets your body adapt to your natural gait instead of conforming to your running shoes.

Barefoot running shoes have been gaining popularity in recent months, as they are designed to re-create a the natural sensation of running “barefoot” on man-made surfaces like concrete and asphalt.

The Pros:

Robert A. Kornfeld, Founder of the Institute for Integrative Podiatric Medicine, wrote for the Huffington Post that barefoot running shoe manufacturers believe that “the human foot, unimpeded by synthetic surfaces and restrictive running shoes, should function at its best.”


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Ahnu Shasta: Quest for the Perfect Running Shoe

Quest for the perfect running shoeAhnu is a company that’s committed to more than making great products, they’re also dedicated to positioning themselves to serving a greater good. Not only does the company support organizations like The Conservation Alliance and the Breast Cancer Fund, they also adhere to rigorous ethical manufacturing standards. These shoes are sweat-shop free, but how will I feel sweating it out on the street?

The Shasta by Ahnu is designed for cross-terrain running, meaning both road running and trail running, which sounds perfect for braving the wilds of the Willimasburg waterfront. The box tells me that the shoe’s “Neutral Positioning System” promises to keep the the foot “balanced in the center of the shoe to encourage biomechanics efficiency on varied terrain.”

For this review, I can’t follow my typical three-run template, because the Ahnu Shastas took a little longer to break in than the other shoes I reviewed.  However, the pay-off was well worth the extra work. The Shastas have fairly stiff soles, which translated into serious arch support. The upper part of the shoe breathes nicely, keeping my feet from feeling sweaty.


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Running Shoes: Less is More

If you’re shopping for new running shoes, more expensive doesn’t always equal more value. That’s good news for you and your checkbook, but don’t think you can go get a knockoff brand for $25 either. A team of Scottish scientists found no difference between $150 shoes and the relatively cheaper $80 versions. Not cheap, but comforting news nonetheless.

Lead researcher Rami Abboud, director of the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research at the University of Dundee, has some simple advice for you: Make sure the shoes fit!

“My advice to runners is to make sure that, first, the footwear fits your feet, and that if you are paying more, that doesn’t mean that you’re getting something better,” says Abboud.