Getting started on an exercise program (or maintaining one, for that matter), means you must have the right equipment. While barbells and treadmills aren’t required for having a successful workout experience, good shoes are! Realizing after you have an injury that your shoes aren’t good is not a good thing! I’ve already had one knee surgery and I don’t want another one, so I’m very proactive at encouraging people to find a good pair of shoes to wear while they do aerobics, walk, or run. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way:

– Be prepared to spend (or find shoes on sale that originally cost) more than $60 for a good pair of shoes (I normally fall into the “find shoes on sale” crowd!). In order to get the support and cushioning you need while putting impact on your feet you’re just going to have to pay that much, from everything I’ve seen and heard.
My Shoes
– Buy shoes made for the activity you are planning on doing. If you want to run, get running shoes, not cross-training shoes.

– Go to a good shoe store (a place where the people know what they are talking about) and get fitted for good shoes. Ask to take a walk around the block in the shoes and ask what their return policy is if the shoes start to hurt your feet.

– If you have had injuries before or have “fallen” or low arches, ask your doctor if you should get fitted for orthotics. They are expensive (believe me, I have custom-made orthotics) but they make a huge difference if your feet are “off”. I love my orthotics and wear them in all my shoes!

– If you want help online to find shoes (often you can find a great coupon online for shoe buying and many stores have good return policies), check out the Runner’s World Shoe Finder site. Enter in your weight, gender, and how you train and they will give you suggestions for shoes that might work well for you.

– Remember that when you run you exert 3 times your weight onto your feet. This is a big impact and having good shoes to absorb that impact could save your knees and other joints!