Become A Member

 

close

Terms Of Use

close

By clicking below I acknowledge that I am enrolling in, a program created by the American Heart Association, Inc. ("AHA Program").

I am engaging in the AHA Program voluntarily and for my own personal reasons. I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with a physician regarding heart disease.

The AHA programs I am enrolling in may advocate or involve physical activity such as exercise. Such physical activity is a potentially hazardous activity that may involve certain risks. By participating in AHA programs, I assume all associated risks. It is my responsibility to consult with a physician to determine my ability to engage in any and all activities associated with the AHA Programs. It is also my responsibility to use equipment, clothing, and technique that are appropriate for the activities related to the AHA Programs. I am solely responsible for my own safety.

I agree to not sue, and to release, indemnify and hold harmless, the AHA, its affiliates, officers, directors, volunteers and employees, and all sponsors of the AHA programs sponsors and the agents of such sponsors, from any and all liability, claims, demands, and causes of action whatsoever, arising out of my participation in the AHA programs, whether arising from the negligence of any of the above parties or from any other cause. The foregoing release, indemnification, and hold harmless shall be as broad and inclusive as is permitted by the state in which I live.

I consent to the aggregation of my non-identifying information with like information from other people, and I consent to the release of such aggregated information to other parties, including but not limited to the sponsors of AHA. I authorize the AHA to mail me information about the AHA Programs or about other AHA offerings.

I acknowledge and agree that the AHA may discontinue certain AHA programs without notice to me and that I shall have no continuing rights in the AHA programs upon such termination.

I assert that I am the person about whom the information I am providing relates.

If any portion of this agreement is held invalid, the balance shall continue in full force and effect.

Login

close
E-Mail Address
Password
Remember Me
Not a Member Yet?
There are many benefits to registering with us.
Aside from the Walking Paths, you can gain access to our entire suite of tools designed to promote healthy living. Sign up for our resources and start seeing positive change today!
Start

Help Save Lives
Over 450 Heart Walks Nationwide

The Heart Walk

is a great way to help fund and support the life-saving mission of the American Heart Association. The walks promote physical activity and heart-healthy living in an environment that's fun with family, friends or coworkers!

Learn More
Sneaker Savvy

If you’ve tried to buy a pair of walking shoes recently, you probably realize that the canvas sneakers of the past have been replaced by high-tech, state-of-the-art athletic gear. Consumers are faced with so many options that the task of choosing a pair of shoes has become increasingly complicated and confusing, not to mention expensive. By attaining a good working knowledge of athletic footwear, you will be less likely to fall for the latest gimmick or be coerced into spending above your budget.

Know What You Need

When shopping for walking shoes, you’ll want a shoe designed specifically for the right type of activity. Walking shoes should be lightweight and breathable. Walkers strike first with their heel and then roll onto the ball of their foot, so cushioning should be thickest in the heel and the shoe should be flexible enough to bend in your hands. Running shoes provide even more cushioning and flexibility, so a running shoe is also an option to use while walking. Although flashier in color, they are more prevalent so you’ll have more to choose from. Just beware that the thicker treads on the bottom could cause tripping when walking on an area such as carpet. Multi-purpose shoes such as cross trainers may be a good alternative for those who want to combine several sports or activities, such as walking and tennis or weight training, in a single workout.

The next step is getting a good fit. Remember, no matter how popular a shoe is or how good it may look, it won’t do you any good if it doesn’t support your unique foot or causes blisters.

Guidelines for Buying Shoes

Ideally you should look for a specialty athletic shoe store with a good reputation in your community. Their sales staff is more likely to be knowledgeable.

When purchasing shoes for a specific sport or fitness activity, consider your foot type. People with high-arched feet tend to require greater shock absorption than those with average feet. High-arched (cavus) feet also suffer from lateral instability and are more prone to ankle sprains. Conversely, people with low arched (“flat”) feet require shoes with less cushioning but greater support and heel control.

Test the shoes for basic stability:

Fitting Tips

  1. Get fitted for footwear at the end of the day, when foot size is at its maximum. It’s not unusual for an individual’s foot to increase one-half a shoe size during the course of a single day.
  2. Allow 1/2 inch, or the width of your index finger, between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If one foot is larger than the other, buy the larger size.
  3. The ball of the foot should match the widest part of the shoe and you should have plenty of room for your toes to wiggle without experiencing slippage in the heel. (Hint: Women tend to have a narrower heel in relation to their foot size than men, so try on several models to find the right style).
  4. Wear the same weight of socks that you intend to use during activity. Socks with a high cotton content retain moisture and cause blisters more easily. Look for socks that are made with synthetic fibers such as acrylic, polyester or Coolmax®.

Some Final Considerations

Athletic shoes no longer require a break-in period. However, they will lose their cushioning after three to six months of regular use (or 350-500 miles of walking or running). It is important to be aware of when your shoes need to be replaced because, if they are no longer absorbing the pounding and jarring action of the sport, you are more likely to sustain knee and ankle injuries.

A final consideration when buying athletic shoes is price. It is possible to spend anywhere from $19.99 for no-name brands to more than $170 for Reebok’s or Nike’s latest technological wonder. A high price doesn’t always guarantee the right fit or features. You can find a pair that provides excellent support, cushioning and fit in the middle price range.

Finally, just because a friend says that a certain model is great doesn’t mean it’s a great shoe for YOU. Try out several pairs and simulate your activity on a hard surface to determine the kind of support and cushioning provided. Then you and your feet will be ready to go!

For more fit tips and athletic shoe recommendations visit the American Association of Podiatric Sports Medicine.