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How Can I Tell if I'm Wearing the Right Shoes for Exercise?

Step 1

Bend and depress the heel box, or back third of the bottom of the shoe. It shouldn't bend easily. A sturdy heel box is better for any kind of exercise than a weak one because it offers you better cushioning and support.

Step 2

Grab your foot with your hand. Bend it around and see how much your bones shift with the motions of your hands. If you have a rigid foot that doesn't move much when you manipulate it, you should buy a shoe that has a flexible top made of fabric or mesh. If you have a flexible foot that moves easily, find athletic shoes with sturdy tops that will keep your feet in place.

Step 3

Check the arch of the shoe. This is the narrow area of the foot between the heel and the area after the toes. Buy a shoe that offers a wide arch, since it is more supportive than a shoe with a slender arch.

Step 4

Step on a brown piece of paper while your foot is wet and look at what kind of curve exists between your heel and toes. If you have a slight or no curve, you want a shoe with motion control and lots of support. If you have a pronounced curve, find a shoe with a soft midsole and lots of cushioning. A neutral arch, which you may have if your shoes wear out evenly, means that you want a stability shoe that has both cushion and support.

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