Not All Athletic Shoes are Created Equal

athletic shoes

Expert podiatrists Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann have some advice that we hope you’ll use especially if you’re starting a new exercise plan in the New Year: pay attention to the athletic shoes you’re wearing. It’s not enough to pick a pair that looks nice and hope that it gets you through the day. Two things matter way more than style: function and fit.


Lest you think it’s merely some kind of marketing scheme to sell more, there’s a legitimate reason why there are so many different kinds of athletic shoes to choose from. Each type of sneaker is designed for a specific function. That’s important because the best way to protect your feet from harm is to wear the shoe that offers the best support for that activity. For example, cross-trainers offer the best stability and lateral support for a circuit workout that may combine things like weightlifting, jumping, and boxing. But they don’t have nearly enough cushioning and support for running. Running and jogging are high-impact activities that need shoes that are expressly built to absorb that kind of shock.

After choosing the kind of shoes you need for your activity, you still need to make sure they fit well. Dr. Frey and Dr. Oltmann recommend that you start by knowing something about your feet’s characteristics. For example, what kind of foot arch do you have? If you have high arches, you’ll probably need a shoe with superior cushioning. A wide toe box is essential for anyone with bunions. If you overpronate (your ankles tend to turn in), you may benefit from special insoles or custom orthotics to prevent pain and injury.

Keep your feet in shape and protect your joints by carefully considering what athletic shoe to wear. A qualified sales rep at a specialty athletic store can help you find the best shoe for you. You can also come into Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland for a complete foot exam and our recommendations for the right shoes. If you live and exercise in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, or Summit County, give us a call at (440) 903-1041 or request an appointment online.