Shopping for Athletic Shoes? Try These Tips for Proper Fit

Updated on February 25, 2020
Linda Courtney profile image

Linda has a B.S. in Accounting and Business and has always been interested in budgeting and personal finance and entrepreneurship.

Athletic Shoes
Athletic Shoes | Source

Just about everyone owns at least one pair of athletic shoes. Whether for walking, running, playing a sport, or just shopping around town, they are a footwear staple. The casual comfort of athletic shoes makes them a favorite. With all the different brands and styles of athletic shoes out there, how do you pick the right one for you? Considerations need to be made as to how you will wear them, style, and fit.

The Proper Fit

Getting the proper fit in an athletic shoe is a must. If possible, go to a specialty store that has the staff to measure your foot and make sure the shoe fits. You should try to have your foot measured after a workout as feet swell and you will need to make sure the shoe is just as comfortable then as when not working out. It is recommended that you wear whatever socks you would normally wear for the fitting too. Shoe stores tend to carry thin nylon sock for you to use to try on shoes, but you may wear thicker tube socks with your shoes. The fit would be different in both instances. Make sure you have some room between your big toe and the shoe. Otherwise rubbing could occur and cause blisters.


Do not go into a store looking for the cheapest shoe. The cheapest are usually the ones with the least support or comfort features. They also will not last long. Wouldn’t it be better to spend more on a shoe that will last much longer? Do you want to be buying new athletic shoes regularly? If you work out with them a few times a week, they will need to be durable and lasting. If you work outside in all kinds of weather, you do not want a shoe that leaks so your foot gets wet and cold either. If you can find a quality shoe on sale that fits, by all means, go for it. Just do not make price your main focus. If the ones that fit you best are expensive, you can always put them on layaway and pay as you go. Also, make sure the store you go to is an authorized retailer. There are many knock-offs to be found in the marketplace, and in the long run, they will not be as durable or provide the support you need.

Professional Staff Help With Choice of Shoe

Athletic shoes come in a variety of styles for just about any sport and activity out there. A professional staff member in a store will ask you questions as to what you plan to use your shoe for and how often you will be wearing them. Your answers will help direct them to the correct shoe for your purpose. The styles and brands can be overwhelming, and the shoe boxes do not always advertise whether they are for walking, jogging, cross-training, or even basketball. Shoe store staff will know these details.

When choosing a shoe for walking, look for one that is lightweight. You will want shock absorption in both the ball of the foot as well as the heel. Those areas are where you will put the most strain. If you are a runner or jogger, look for a shoe with overall shock absorption as well as being lightweight. If your sport is basketball, look for a shoe with a stiff sole for stability. Many basketball players wear high-top shoes for even more support on the ankle. Tennis players need stability on both the inside and outside of the foot as they shift from one side to the other. Also, make sure the shoes are flexible. Cross-trainers who participate in a few sports will want shoes with some or all of the features above.

Those who do not compete in a sport, but want a shoe that looks good will not need to spend as much money on all the features listed above. You will still need to look for something that fits you properly and is comfortable. Colors and styles abound so you should have no problem finding something that fits as well as looks good with your outfit. You may not need the staff member to help you pick a shoe, but you should make sure you get the proper size. When looking for your sports shoe, you can also think about fashion and how it will look in everyday life. Many wear their athletic shoes everywhere they are allowed.

There are many styles and brands of athletic footwear for whatever your needs, but it should not be too difficult to find the perfect shoe for your needs. Just remember to keep in mind what you plan on using it for and above all make sure it fits correctly. Without a proper fit, you will not be performing at your optimal. You could wind up with problems in your feet or ankles too. Keep these tips in mind when out shopping, and you will be happier in the long run.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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