MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Whether you are hitting the pavement, walking the dog or headed to the gym, finding the right tennis shoe for your foot can be overwhelming. There are so many choices.

In Get Movin’ Monday, Fitness Expert Ali Holman showed Kim Johnson how to choose the right shoe that will make you perform better and reduce injury.

To find the perfect tennis shoe, you first need to determine your arch.

“High arch, neutral or a low arch,” she said, “a lot of us wonder how we even test that.”

Holman said all you really need is a piece of paper and some water, and showed Johnson by way of demonstration.

“You can go ahead and step in the water, get your foot wet and then step on this piece of paper,” she said. “You can see that her foot is touching the entire part of the paper. So if you have a high arch, there is going to be a missing part here in the middle. So she has low to neutral arch.”

Holman said the rest of your body will thank you if your shoe matches your arch type.

“All the impact that is absorbed by your feet affects your core, your hips, your knees, your shoulders, your neck,” she said.

Because their feet swell, runners want a shoe that has plenty of toe length.

“You don’t want your toes butting up against the end of that shoe,” she said.

The lighter the shoe, the less weight to haul. Holman showed Johnson a shoe from the Nike Free line.

“It’s supposed to feel like you’re barefoot,” she said. “If you really like that light feeling, this is a great light running shoe — I’d say if you’re doing 10Ks, 5Ks, running in the gym.”

Walkers don’t need as much support, but look for a thick sole across the foot.

“When you’re running a lot of people are bouncing from fore foot to heel. When you’re walking, you’re placing that entire foot on the ground,” she said. “If you have ankle issues, if you’re walking on ice, they just feel very sturdy, very steady.”

In the gym, traction is everything.

“If you’re putting a bar on your back and doing squats you want to make sure you have a shoe that is not slipping,” she said. “So if you flip it over, this gives you this really great traction for people who are lifting weights in the gym.”

An important question: how long should you use a tennis shoe? Holman said don’t think in terms of mileage, but in months. A lot of people will wear their running shoes to the grocery store or to run errands and not count those miles, but all that impact still counts.

She recommends changing shoes every 3 to 6 months.

Kim Johnson

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