Running Shoes Versus Cross-Trainers
Go with running shoes if you mostly jog or walk, since they’re engineered for heel-to-toe motion. Why not walking shoes? “Running sneakers cater to a wider range of foot types and are built to last longer,” says Megan Leahy, a doctor of podiatric medicine at the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, in Chicago.
Go with cross-trainers if your routine includes an activity like aerobics, weight training, or kickboxing (basically any exercise on a hard surface that involves side-to-side movement).
How to Choose the Right Athletic Shoes 2017
What’s Your Foot Type?
“Runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and early-onset arthritis are just a few problems that arise from exercising in the wrong sneakers,” says Louis Pack, a podiatrist in Greensboro, Georgia, and the author of The Arthritis Revolution ($24, amazon.com). In contrast, shoes designed to compensate for the impact of your feet can prevent injuries and improve structural alignment and performance. To determine your foot type: Have a podiatrist examine you, or get an idea yourself by looking at the soles of a pair of worn-in flats. “The wear patterns show where you’re putting pressure when you walk,” says Pack. Compare the red areas on the shoes at right to see which matches your own.
If You’re a Supinator…
Look for: Soft midsoles (the layer between the mesh upper and the treads), since this type of foot doesn’t provide enough shock absorption on its own. That means the shoes’ soles will tend to be more flexible. You can also usually spot them by the shape of the sole: “A cushioned shoe cuts in at the arch, resembling a kidney bean,” says Leahy.