Fitness Fact: Feet!

A couple of months ago, a participant in my step aerobics class asked “Marci, my feet and shins have started hurting me, what could that be from?”  So I asked her how old her shoes were.  She thought for a minute and said, “hmmm, I’ve had these for about a year and a half.”  After following my advice and investing in a great pair of shoes, she is free from foot and shin pain.

One of the most important things to think about when it comes to exercise is making sure your feet are taken care of.  Their job is to keep you upright and take the impact on a daily basis.  Plus, when your feet don’t have the right kind of support, you’ll start to experience pain in your feet, ankles, shins, knees, hips, and even low back. Two things to consider are the right fit and replacing them often.

1.) If you don’t know what kind of shoe is right for your foot or the types of exercise you like to do, find a reputable store in your area.  I always recommend my Cambridge clients to go to Marathon Sports on Mass Ave (there are 6 locations in Massachusetts).  They have expert sales reps who are trained to analyze your feet and gait, to help guide you to just the right shoe.

2.) This article gives suggestions on how often to replace your shoes.  The general consensus seems to be every 5-6 months if you are using them on a regular basis.  Remember, if your feet starting aching, you’ve waited too long!

I often hear people complain that their feet fall asleep while exercising or that their feet hurt, even if their shoes are new.  There are two common pitfalls to watch out for.

1.) Don’t tie your laces too tight!  Give your feet a little wiggle room.
2.) Consider buying a 1/2 size bigger than you normally would.  Your feet swell while exercising and you need space for your feet to expand.

Good luck and have fun!
Marci RD, Nutrition Therapist


  1. Marc…what type of shoes do you recommend? I have been jogging in the morning lately, and i’ve had my same New Balance shoes for over 2 years now. I like them because they have a wider width in the toe. What do you think? Lisa

  2. Great question Lis. I don’t think there is a brand that is necessarily best. I think it makes sense to try on a few different pairs until you find one that is best for your foot. And it sounds like you’ve found a brand that works well for you. I’d say stick with the New Balance if it’s working for you, just consider a new pair since they are over 2 years old. 🙂 I personally love New Balance, Saucony, and Asics.

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