Sticking with a fitness regimen is hard enough without having to put up with painful feet. And a foot injury due to inappropriate or improperly fitted footwear can be enough to stop your quest for health in its tracks.

Foot Muscles, Active. Healthy. Well. -

Each foot has 26 bones, 107 ligaments, 33 joints and 19 muscles.

 So what should you consider when choosing athletic shoes?


Contrary to what many people say, no break-in period should be required. Any shoe, whether athletic or dress, should be comfortable from the minute you put

it on. If it’s not, it doesn’t fit properly and will only result in unnecessary pain. Worse yet, ill-fitting shoes can contribute to common foot deformities such as

bunions, hammertoes and tailor’s bunions (bunionettes). Simply put: If it doesn’t feel comfortable immediately, choose another shoe.


Feet tend to swell during the day and are at their widest by late afternoon — the best time to shop. A pair of shoes that feel snug when purchased in the morning may feel uncomfortable when you exercise later.


Always get your foot measured while you’re standing. Your body weight puts pressure on feet, causing them to spread a bit and allowing for a more accurate gauge of width. Conditions such as bunions or hammertoes make picking the proper width extra important.


Actual shoe sizes differ from company to company, but a good rule of thumb, is use your thumb. Between the tip of the toes and the end of the shoe should be about a thumb’s width of space. You should be able to wiggle your toes in the shoes.


When shopping, always wear the type of socks that you will be wearing when you exercise. For example, if you wear two pairs of socks while playing soccer, then wear two pairs of socks when being fitted for new shoes. If your feet are different sizes, choose the shoe that fits the larger foot best; if the discrepancy is large, you may need to buy two different sizes.

Let’s Get specific

If you’re a serious athlete, go for a sport-specific shoe designed with your activity (e.g., tennis) in mind vs. an all-purpose shoe such as a cross-trainer. The proper fit will help prevent blisters and other minor skin irritations, while the proper design can help prevent sprains and other, more serious injuries.

■ Tennis shoes support your feet and ankles in side-to-side and stop-and-go movements. Look for good arch support, a lace-up design and good traction.

■ Basketball shoes are generally higher (3/4 or high-tops) to provide even more stability and support, guarding against ankle sprains.

■ Soccer and softball shoes allow for both stop-and-go motion and running on grassy surfaces. They often come with cleats to provide more traction.

■ Crosstrainers are not sport-specific but are good all-purpose shoes, best if you’re more of a weekend warrior. Ideal for general fitness classes (aerobics, step, body sculpting, etc.), crosstrainers are also good for weightlifting and use on cardio machines such as Stairmasters, ellipticals and bikes. While you can run in crosstrainers, you are better off switching to a running shoe if you run any significant distance.

From your office chair or sofa to 5k

Running shoes are designed for shock absorption. Generally, a force of three to four times your body weight hits across the joints of your knees, ankles and feet with every step you take while running. You take approximately 1,500-1,800 steps per mile that you run. That’s equivalent to several hundred tons of force! And yes, the less you weigh, the less stress you place on your joints. Running shoes, however, do not provide good support for lateral movements and are not advisable for sports such as tennis or basketball.

The top 5 running shoes for 2014 – 15

Here’s a variety of new race-ready shoes for 5K to the marathon. You could wear some of these shoes for training every day, but durability is always reduced with shoes intended for racing.


Altra One Running Shoe, Running, Active. Healthy. Well. Altra Men’s The One2 Shoe Introducing The One2-a fast, do-it-all performance shoe with an incredible cushion-to-weight ratio From a casual seven-mile run to a full marathon, this shoe delivers comfortable, stable performance The ultra light InnerFlex midsole provides impressive lightweight flexibility The weight balanced, Zero Drop platform helps you maintain low-impact form, even when fatigue sets in at the end of a hard race or workout The One2 focuses on improving your form and reducing pressure on your feet-allowing you to run fast and go hard Natural Ride System.

Description via Amazon

Brooks Unisex t7 racer, Running, Active. Healthy. Well. Brooks Running is your go-to company for anything and everything related to the run. As a leading running company that designs and markets high-performance men’s and women’s running shoes, apparel and accessories in more than 60 countries worldwide, we are dedicated to inspiring people to run and be active by creating innovative gear that keeps them running longer, farther, faster and happier.

Description via Amazon

Nike lunaracer+3, Running, Active. Healthy. Well. The Nike Lunaracer+ 3 running shoe features a new mesh upper including engineered mesh, that eliminates the need for overlays, and Dynamic Flywire that allows for a fit that changes along with the shape of the foot during the gait cycle.

Description via Amazon

Perl izumi em road No, Running, Active. Healthy. Well. A must-have for the high mileage neutral runner a supple yet responsive recovery shoe-the road n3 offers ultimate training comfort. Dynamic offset-shaped mid-sole is bio-mechanically tuned for the neutral runner looking for maximum cushioning and all-day comfort.

Description via Amazon

Puma Faas, Running, Active. Healthy. Well. Lightweight and responsive, this sneaker from PUMA is built to enhance your speed. PUMA is the global athletic brand that successfully fuses influences from sport, lifestyle and fashion. PUMA’s unique industry perspective delivers the unexpected in sport-lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories, through technical innovation and revolutionary design.

Description via Amazon

8-week 5k Running Training Plan

Each session should take 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week — the same amount of moderate exercise recommended by several studies for optimum fitness. This program will get you fit; runners who do more have goals beyond fitness, and before long you might find yourself doing the same as well. Be sure to space these three days throughout the week to give your body a chance to rest and recover between efforts. And don’t worry about how fast you’re going. Running faster can wait until your bones are stronger and your body is fitter. For now, focus on gradually increasing the time or distance you run.

There are two ways to measure your runs: by time or by distance. Either one works well; just choose the option that seems easiest for you to keep track of. If you go with the distance option, and you are not using a track to measure the distances, just estimate. The distances don’t have to be absolutely exact. Make sure to precede each session with a five-minute warm-up walk or jog, and stretch both before and after.


5k Training Plan

5k Training Plan Description

Week 1 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then

alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90

seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 2 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then

alternate 5 minutes of jogging and two

minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 3 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then do

two repetitions of the following:

Jog 400 yards (or 90 seconds)

Walk 400 yards (or 90 seconds)

Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)

Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Week 4 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

Jog 5 minutes

Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)

Jog 5 minutes

Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)

Jog 5 minutes

Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)

Jog 5 minutes

Week 5 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

Jog 6 minutes

Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

Jog 6 minutes

Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

Jog 6 minutes

Week 6 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then:

Jog 7 minutes

Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

Jog 8 minutes

Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)

Jog 9 minutes

Week 7 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 30 minutes
Week 8 Brisk five-minute warm-up walk, then jog 35 minutes




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Christy is a Certified Wellness Coach and has a passion for empowering and educating individuals. She has over 10 years experience in the Health and Wellness industry and continues to pursue health and wellness activities through weight training, aerobics, and dance. Connect with us on our Google Plus Page Active. Healthy. Well.