Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's time to go SHOE shopping!

A quick word or two about shoes...I find myself frequently telling patients that "new shoes are cheaper than new knees/hips." I am the first person to complain about the cost of shoes or clothes, but I never skimp on running/walking shoes. Flip over your shoe and look at the sole. If the tread is worn off (typically along one side), it's time for new shoes, even if the tops look great. Find a real athletic shoe store in your area, and go in with an open mind (and yes, open wallet :0) We're lucky in Austin to have RUNTEX (and Karavel, for more advanced medical podiatric issues.) The staff watch you walk and jog in your socks first, then after assessing your gait & pronation, etc., bring out some different shoes that will best fit your foot. Remember, you will likely need a whole size larger than you are used to wearing in non-athletic shoes, so don't get caught up in the number! The correct shoes will prevent injuries all the way from your feet and ankles up to your hips. Also, don't let a salesperson tell you that you need to "break in" your new shoes- that's simply not true. I also suggest shopping later in the day, when your feet might be swollen, if you tend to retain fluid. Finally, despite the cost, I usually buy two pair at a time, so I can alternate days and extend the life of my shoes.
BOTTOM LINE: If you're going to walk/jog/run for exercise, remember new shoes cost less than new joints!

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