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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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Picking the Perfect Pair of Shoes for Zumba

Zumba Wear Gym Shoes on Amazon.com, $108.99

Zumba is taking over the world. It’s cheap, fun, easy and you don’t need much to join in on the Latin dance fitness craze except your body, whatever sense of rhythm you have, and the right shoes.

You don’t need those fancy high heels you may be picturing, however. Your regular gym shoes are just fine, but if you really want proper Zumba foot attire, there are a few things you should consider when picking out a new pair of kicks.

There are three basic elements to look at when purchasing any type of shoe: shock absorption, ankle support, and material and sole flexibility. Well, four, cause they have to look good, too, but that’s a given. These three elements become even more important when looking for shoes for a specific activity, which today is a kick-butt Zumba class.


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Christina’s Weigh-In on Rachael Ray

Christina's StoryTune in to Rachael Ray this Friday, April 15 for anther update with Christina’s Story and a look at athletic shoes that may be hurting your workouts.

Christina is an overweight teenager who is determined to lose 70 pounds before her prom at the end of this school year. Each Friday, Rachael checks in on Christina’s progress. She’s been eating right and sticking to her gym schedule, so this week should prove to be another success.

Also on Friday’s episode, on expert takes a look at how gym shoes affect your workout. She explains how the wrong pair of shoes can undermine your workout and prevent you from reaching certain fitness goals.


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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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Crocs Offers Toning Shoes

CrocsToneNot to be left out of the toning-shoe trend, Crocs are now offering a shoe that promises to give your legs and butt a workout just by walking. Similar products include FitFlops, Skechers Shape-ups, and New Balance Rock&Tone. The CrocsTone Skylar Flats sell for $49.99 and the CrocsTone Skylar Clog, which looks like the classic Croc, sells for $54.99.

The CrocsTone line claims that their shoe “initiates key muscle activity to provide toning benefits” while you walk. They claim that the secret to more attractive legs lies in the three-part sole that creates a “rocker-effect.” We have to confess that the Skylar Flat is much cuter than many of the other toning shoes, or the original Crocs themselves, but we’re still suspicious of their claims.


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