September 27th, 2012

Health N' Sports: Best Shoes For You

Staff Report

Health N' Sports: Best Shoes For You
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Selecting the Best Shoe for Your Workouts

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to 

When it comes to shoes, one size doesn't fit all and one type of shoe may not be right when it comes to picking out the best running, walking, hiking or other workout shoes.  When searching for the right shoe it's important to ask questions and purchase footwear from knowledgeable salespeople.  Several top names in the fitness world share how they select shoes for their workouts and when they know it's time for a new pair.


Tom Best is a sports medicine physician and a former president of the American College of Sports Medicine.  He is an avid runner and competes in half marathons.  On average, Dr. Best runs 25 to 35 miles per week.  He acknowledges that there are a lot of good shoes on the market and when choosing the right shoe it depends on how much a person wants to spend.  Many runners ask when they should buy new shoes.  “Popular opinion is that you should replace your shoes every 350 to 500 miles, but this theory doesn't have a lot of science behind it. Shoes absorb energy and control motion. As your shoes start to age, they absorb less energy and that energy from impacting the surface goes directly into the soft tissues, joints and bones of your body. I tell runners: Listen to your body. I know I need a new pair now because I'm a little sore.”


David Zinczenko is the editor in chief of Men's Health:


“I'm a pretty big guy, so my lower body can take a pounding when I run. I find that Asics, Nike and New Balance have models that support me well and give me a good shock-absorber effect. And I always make sure I wear good moisture-wicking socks, because they keep my feet healthy and blister-free.”  Zinczenko considers shoes a major investment.  “You want to go for absolute quality, because they'll keep your feet happy, look great and last forever.  In the time you would have to shop for three pairs of cheap shoes, you could keep on wearing one pair of high-quality ones. In the long run, you save.”


David Willey is the editor-in-chief of Runner's World:


As the editor of Runner's World magazine, David Willey works with and runs in a wide variety of running shoes.  “Since I'm one of Runner's World's 350 wear-testers, I rarely wear the same pair of shoes on successive runs. (In the wear-test program, runners of all levels give their subjective feedback on shoes.)”  A relatively new topic in footwear is the minimalist shoe.  Many experts agree this shoe is not for everyone and should be introduced gradually to prevent injury.  “I've been working on improving my running form, so I've been running more in minimalist shoes for certain workouts to help strengthen my feet and promote a forefoot strike, but opting for something with more cushioning for my long runs.”  When Willey's not running, he makes sure to switch to the proper footwear.  “I do a fair amount of cross-training, so if we go on a family hike, I'll wear trail-running shoes, and I wear cycling shoes that are compatible with clip-less pedals when I go cycling. And I almost never wear dress shoes.”  The editor of Runner's World can get away with wearing running shoes at the office most days.


Barbara Ainsworth is the president of the American College of Sports Medicine and a professor in Arizona State University's exercise and wellness program:


Barbara is a good example of someone who doesn't need the most expensive and advanced shoe in the market.  She makes sure to change her footwear to meet the needs of her activity.  “During the weekdays I usually walk for about 45 minutes. I park my car so I have a 10 to 15 minute walk to the office in downtown Phoenix and then go out of my way to walk around downtown for about 30 minutes during the day. I wear walking/running shoes for those walks.”  Barbara also enjoys hiking the mountains in the surrounding Phoenix area.  “For day hiking, I like to wear a low-top hiking shoe that is lightweight but has a sturdy sole for walking over rocky areas.  For backpacking I wear ankle-top boots because they are a bit heavier, with a stiffer sole. The last thing I want to do is twist an ankle. I usually wear Merrells, as they do the trick.  For walking on the street, I wear comfortable walking or running shoes.”


Written By Mike Mehring, ATC

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790


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