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What to Look for in Shoes for Your New Workout Routine

What to Look for in Shoes for Your New Workout Routine

When you exercise, you reap physical and mental benefits. Exercise can help ward off depression, help you lose weight, build muscle, reduce stress, and provide a host of other benefits. However, choosing the right shoes can be confusing. 

At AllCare Foot and Ankle CenterDr. Michael Tran and his team want you to enjoy optimal health, and getting proper foot care is part of excellent overall health. We’re always happy to hear our patients have taken up a new form of exercise or developed a new workout routine, and we hope to cut the confusion about the best shoes for you to wear. And, if you should happen to have a foot injury during your workout, we’re here to help! 

Foot anatomy 101

Everyone’s feet, like their body, is generally the same. Most of us have the same basic parts, but we do have some unique characteristics. Your specific foot anatomy dictates how you stand, walk, and run — and it’s just a little different than everyone else’s.

You can learn about your foot by standing on a sheet of brown paper, something like a grocery bag, while your feet are wet so that you can see the imprint. Here are a few things you can learn:


If your footprint doesn’t have much curve in the middle, it means that you have flat feet, which are sometimes referred to as fallen arches. It means that when you walk, your feet roll inward from the heel to the toe — thye pronate.

The best shoes for you have motion control, which corrects the way your foot moves. You also need good support for your arches. If you try to twist your shoe and find it’s difficult, it’s a supportive shoe and a good one for you.


If your footprint shows an exaggerated curve, so that it almost looks like your foot is two separate parts, you likely have high arches. Especially high arches likely are accompanied by supination, which means your foot rolls outward when you walk. This is the opposite of pronation. 

The best shoe for you will likely be one with a softer midsole and adequate cushioning. If you can easily twist your shoe, it’s probably a good choice for you. 

Neutral arches

If your footprint looks pretty standard, with a bit of curve in the middle, neither too little nor too much, you likely have a neutral arch without pronation or supination. Wearing shoes while you work out that are designed for people without arches or with high arches can make your feet achy and could lead to injury. 

People with neutral arches need shoes that are moderate, with some cushioning and some support, but not too much of either. 

We can help you understand what kind of feet you have and what kind of shoe is likely to best support your workout efforts. 

Measuring your feet

You know what size shoe you wear, and you may not see any reason to measure your feet. But, you might be surprised. Your body, including your feet, changes over time, and it’s not uncommon for foot size to change with age. 

Another thing to remember is that not all brands of shoes are sized in the same way, so it’s possible to wear one size in one brand and a different size in another. It’s always best to try on shoes and see how they feel. 

It’s a myth that shoes need to be broken in. A good fit will feel right when you try it on. If the shoes feel too tight or are otherwise uncomfortable in the store, don’t buy them.

You probably need multiple pairs

If you do different kinds of workouts, like running and weightlifting, you may find that you need different shoes for your different activities. Even if you mostly do only one thing, you’ll probably benefit from having more than one pair of shoes. 

It’s generally a bad idea to put wet shoes in the dryer. The dryer can change the structure and way your shoes fit. If they get wet, try stuffing some newspaper in them to absorb moisture and let them dry naturally.

Choosing the best shoes for exercise doesn’t have to be confusing. If you understand your foot shape and what level of support and cushion you need, as well as the proper size, you’re well on your way. 

If you have questions about shoes for exercise, call or message AllCare Foot and Ankle Center. We’re always happy to answer your questions and give you some suggestions at our offices in Dallas and Arlington, Texas

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