John Basedow: Getting and staying in shape requires properly fitted footwear. The right shoes will ensure you get the most out of any workout. So avoid the following mistakes and take care of your feet.
To begin with, don't just grab the first shoe you see. Invest in a pair that's made specifically for exercise and your body will thank you now and down the road. Look for a lightweight footwear with a firm heel and good support.
Second, don't choose the right shoe for the wrong workout. Tennis shoes are different from basketball shoes and running shoes are different than walking shoes. If you participate in any activity two to three times a week, get a sports specific shoe. If you play occasional pick up games and run with the kids a cross trainer is your best bet for full coverage support.
Third, make sure you don't overuse your workout shoes. If they become your comfy air-in shoes or you try to use a pair for several years, stop. Shoes are worn for the support they offer which can wear out before the shoe itself is noticeably ragged. Replace your shoes every sixth month if you are frequently active or once a year if you exercise more casually.
Runners should replace theirs every 300 to 500 miles. If you feel aches in your back, hips, and knees, it's time to get new shoes.
Finally, don't skip out on professional help. Visit an athletic shoe store and ask the staff to measure your foot for the right fit. They should question your exercise habits, watch you walk, and suggest a shoe size for your width and length.
With the perfect shoe, you will be able to train and perform at your best.