Apparel: Shoes and Boots
Probably the most important gear to be appropriately fitted to is the shoe. For practically every different activity there is a shoe or boot that has been constructed to enhance function and comfort. While some shoes work for some, they don’t for others, so it is very important to not be afraid to try on many different brands and styles to find the one that works for you.
With running shoes, and long distance walking shoes in particular, keep in mind the nature of your activity. As you exercise, particularly for long periods of time or in high heat, your feet will swell, so you need to fit a shoe slightly larger than you foot. It is called “The rule of thumb”. There should be one thumbnail distance between the end of your big toe and where the shoe is.
This will give your foot room to swell comfortably without encouraging blisters to form from rubbing. The shoe should fit snug to the sides of your foot, and you should feel adequate support in your arch, heel, and palm.
When trying on a shoe, it may feel different when simply standing there and when you are actually doing the activity. If you are looking for a walking or running shoe, walk or run around the store to test it out. It may feel a little weird to run in a shoe store, but I promise they won’t look at you strangely. Make sure that your foot does not slip inside the shoe, it should remain snuggly in place.
Manufacturers have designed shoes with function and support level in mind, so use their guidance to help you select a shoe. But remember, it is only to guide you. Ultimately it is the comfort of your feet, not theirs.
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