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Supportive Shoes: Shoe Buying Tips for Athletes


WRITTEN BY: Sports Medicine
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Whether your fitness routine finds you running on the beach or tearing up the gridiron in the fall, you need to wear the proper shoes for your activity. Regardless of your preferred sport or form of physical activity, wearing a supportive pair of shoes can help you get the most out of your athletic activity. Consider the infographic below to learn more about how to pick the right shoe for the right activity, find the proper fit, measure your arch, and other useful tips.

Learn more about proper shoe fit for various athletic activities.

Running shoes should offer

  • 3/8 to ½ inch of space between your big toe and the front of the shoe
  • Flexibility and agility to support movements
  • Significant cushioning throughout to handle impact
  • Stability in the heel

Walking shoes should offer

  • Shock absorption
  • Smooth tread on the bottom of the shoe
  • Flexible soles to support rolling of the feet

Hiking shoes should offer

  • Additional room in the toe box
  • Thick soles
  • Strong ankle support

Shoes for court sports (such as basketball) should offer

  • Ankle support for quick movements and pivots
  • Thick soles

Shoes for field sports should offer:

  • Traction to permit movement
  • Spikes or cleats at the bottom of shoes

Remember that shoe size can vary across styles and brands, so be sure to try on your shoes before buying them. By following that tip, as well as the others in this post, you’ll find a great pair of shoes that support your feet through any adventure on any terrain. To learn more about how to select the proper shoes for any activity, or to speak to a professional, contact the experts at UPMC Sports Medicine.

Do you have a go-to pair of shoes for your favorite activity?

Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced center dedicated to caring for athletes of all levels. For more than 25 years of world-class care, we’re proud to offer more services, have more physicians, and treat more student athletes than any other sports medicine provider in the region. Read More