Q: I’m a walker, but want to start doing other activities also. Do I need a different shoe for each type of activity?
A: Choosing the right footwear is important to ensure a safe workout. But that doesn’t mean that you need to rush out and buy a different shoe for every new workout you try–at least not in the beginning. While you’re experimenting with different workouts, invest in a good cross training sneaker. These sneakers are a hybrid of several types of sport specific sneakers; they’re built to support you during many different workouts (e.g., walking, weight lifting, tennis, short runs). Look for a shoe that feels comfortable, has good support, and is lightweight. You can buy cross training sneakers at any major sports retailer. If you’re not sure what to buy, speak with a staff person who can point you in the right direction.
If you stick with a routine that has a lot of variety (i.e., you’re not doing a lot of just one type of activity), a cross training sneaker may be all you ever need. However, if you find yourself participating in one type of activity several times a week, you may want to consider investing in a sport-specific sneaker at that point to ensure the safest, most effective workout possible.
Mary Kennedy, MS, is a Health Fitness Specialist certified by the American College of Sports Medicine.