How to Buy Exercise Shoes

Optimal exercise can be hard to achieve without the proper footwear. Most exercises require a heavy amount of legwork. Running, for example, is almost entirely a leg and foot activity. If you do not have the proper support or cushioning in your shoe, you might injure yourself. With so many different types of exercise shoe, shopping for the right pair can be overwhelming. There are exercise shoes for nearly every activity imaginable, including bowling and volleyball. Use these steps to buy the right workout shoe.


  1. Image titled Buy Exercise Shoes Step 1
    Decide what exercise activity you perform the most.
    • Choose a basketball shoe for ankle support and bulky cushioning to prevent injury on the court.
    • Pick a tennis shoe for the ability to move side to side quickly without rolling your ankle.
    • Consider a track and field shoe if your exercise includes running on a track or performing field events such as long jump.
    • Purchase a cross-country or trail shoe if you plan on walking or running through more rugged terrain than concrete or pavement.
    • Select a walking shoe for low-intensity exercise. These shoes can usually be worn for everyday activities to promote good posture and provide good support.
    • Decide on a running shoe if your primary exercise focus is running, either on a treadmill or outdoors.
    • Opt for other specialty exercise shoes, such as lacrosse, wrestling, hiking, cleats or water shoes as needed.
  2. Image titled Buy Exercise Shoes Step 2
    Figure out your foot type.
    • Place a piece of cardboard on the floor and dip your foot in water.
    • Walk on the cardboard and study the shape your foot made. Decide if you have high arches, flat feet or neutral feet.
    • If you have high arches, your footprint will show a thin connection between your heel and toes. High-arched feet require flexible shoes with extra cushioning in the mid-sole.
    • If you have flat feet, your footprint will show a complete connection between your heel and toes. Flat feet require extra support in shoes.
  3. Image titled Buy Exercise Shoes Step 3
    Consult a sales person for a proper foot measurement.
  4. Image titled Buy Exercise Shoes Step 4
    Try on various brands and styles.
    • Test multiple shoes. Some brands run more narrow or wider than others. Finding the right brand might mean finding the perfect fit.
  5. Image titled Buy Exercise Shoes Step 5
    Walk around the store with the shoes on.
  6. Image titled Buy Exercise Shoes Step 6
    Perform some of the exercise moves you will be doing during your workout.


  • Wear thick socks or the socks that you will be wearing when exercising to prevent buying shoes too snug or too loose.
  • You should buy new exercise shoes about every 400 miles (643.7 k) of usage. If you don't want to keep track of your mileage, try to replace your shoes at least every year. If you are a heavy runner, though, you might need to replace them every 3 to 5 months.
  • Choose to shop in the early evening. Your feet swell throughout the day; going later in the day will give you the most accurate measurement and shoe fitting.


  • Do not wear the shoes outside before you know if they fit perfectly. Many stores do not allow you to return shoes that have been worn outdoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Water

Article Info

Categories: Shoes