135 Commercial St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
Mileage as of 12:30 pm:
GOLDEN RULES FOR SHOE BUYING
Rule 1. Proper fit is essential. Buy your shoes from a specialty walking or running store, where the salespeople are trained to fit walkers and runners. They will ask questions about your program, your aspirations, your particular foot twinges and aches. Then they'll check your foot type and watch as you walk and run in the shoes you try on. They can steer you away from making choices based on name or image. The fitters in these stores are an invaluable resource for you. Use them.
Rule 2. Proper fit is always more important than technology. Shoe manufacturers try to impress you with the latest flashy bells and whistles on various shoe models. A good salesperson can explain to you the minimal differences between things like gel or air or tell you when something is simply a marketing gimmick. The selection is sometimes overwhelming and the technology is changing every six months. That's why you need to rely on experts who earn their living selling quality shoes and fitting them.
Rule 3. Remember to bring your old shoes with you. Your old shoes tell the salesperson a lot about your stride. Examining the "wear pattern" of your old shoes will help determine what new shoes you will need. Buying the proper shoes takes time. You need to try different styles, move around in them, and talk to the fitters. In terms of comfort and pleasure, it's worth all the time you spend.
Rule 4. Buy only to fill your specific need. Proper walking or running shoes are not designed for tennis or aerobics. Don't think one pair of shoes can be used for all sports. It can't.
Rule 5. Bring your orthotics with you when you go to buy running or walking shoes. If you are already wearing orthotics in your regular shoes, you will need to wear them while you are running or walking.
Rule 6. Don't forget your socks. Your shoes and socks need to work as a team. Discuss your sock needs with your salesperson and try on both the new shoes and socks you'll be wearing. This is particularly important if you need thickly cushioned socks.
Rule 7. Follow the rule of thumb and don't worry about size. Try a variety of the recommended shoes and, while standing, check to be sure there is at least one thumb's width of space between the end of your longest toe and the front end of the shoe. This might be the single most important factor, since the shoe size you need for walking or running is often one size or more larger than your usual size. Pay little attention to the size on the box and trust the fit on your foot.
Rule 8. Take the shoes for a walk or run around the store. A specialized athletic shoe store lets you test walk or test run shoes. You need more than just a few seconds of standing around in shoes to determine the proper fit and support. The shoes should feel good right away. If they are uncomfortable and you think they need breaking in, they don't fit properly - make another choice.
Rule 9. While walking or running in the new shoes, have someone watch your feet. Your salesperson can see how you are landing on the soles of the shoes. They can see how your foot is reacting to a particular shoe and make certain the shoe is providing the proper support you need.
Rule 10. Be prepared to spend about $100 for the correct pair of shoes. You may be lucky and find good ones on sale, but don't expect it. The right shoes are worth every penny. Think of your purchase as an investment in your health!
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