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Step Up, Find Right Athletic Shoes For You

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RALEIGH, N.C. — When working out, your feet can take a pounding. Wearing the proper shoes can help prevent a lot of injuries.

Chris Seefeldt, a fitness trainer at WakeMed's Health Park, said most people do not realize how quickly shoes wear out.

"Depending on how many miles a week they're walking or running, anywhere from three to six months, they need to replace their sneakers," he said.

When buying a new shoe, you need to get your feet measured. Mike Zimmerman, owner of the Athlete's Foot in Cameron Village, said it is important to leave room for movement and swelling -- about a thumbs-width between your big toe and the end of the shoe.

"Your foot can change up to two full sizes after you've finished growing in your teens," he said.

Zimmerman also uses a computer to measure pronation, which is the natural shock motion of the foot.

"People who overpronate tend to have what we call overuse injuries in their ankles, lower legs and knees. People who underpronate tend to have impact-related problems," Zimmerman said.

Judy Harmon, an underpronator, tried on several pairs of shoes designed for her type of feet and finally found a good pair at $80.

"I feel like I've really got the right pair of shoes for my particular feet," she said.

Experts said one mistake many people make is thinking they have to buy the most expensive shoe. While a $150 shoe will have more features, experts said you can find a shoe that is right for you for much less.