For this edition of my Favorite Finds series, I’m sharing three of my favorite foot fitness products.
My primary workout of choice is power-walking with spurts of running, mostly on the treadmill but sometimes outside. This is a high-impact activity on the feet. And unfortunately, I have feet that are a bit of a problem. This is not due to exercise; they’ve always been this way.
I have wide feet and high arches. It’s very hard to find shoes that fit properly and that aren’t uncomfortable. I won’t even go into how hard it is to find ones that do fit comfortably AND aren’t ugly.
Several years ago, I wore the “wrong” cute shoes to walk around the mall, and the next day woke up with a bad case of plantar fasciitis. It was one of the most painful conditions I’ve experienced, and took months to heal. Ever since then, I don’t take chances with my footwear. They MUST fit perfectly and have adequate support — or I won’t wear them. And with the pounding my feet take every day with my workouts, it’s especially important.
Here are some products that I have come to rely on daily:
Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes – Shoes are such an individual need that I think it’s hard to recommend one over the other per se. But for me, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS has been incredible, and undoubtedly one of the reasons I’ve been able to workout pain-free. I first learned about them when I went to a running store, where there were trained associates who watched me walk and analyzed my gait to see what category of shoe would work best for me. With that and my need for something wide with excellent arch support, I left happily with a pair of Brooks Adrenaline and have replaced them a few times a year ever since. I’ve also found them online, and at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
One thing to keep in mind with this line from Brooks is that they update the model every year or so, then discontinue the older one. So, this year I’m wearing a GTS 13 whereas previously I bought the GTS 11 or 12. Pricing varies; the latest models are generally around $110. The older ones are discounted but inventory is limited to what’s left.
Dr. Scholl’s Active Series Insoles – I’ve tried several different types of insoles for my running/walking shoes — everything from the thin flat “Air-Pillo” type to the rigid (and pricey) Superfeet. My clear favorite is Dr. Scholl’s Active Series Insoles. I’ve been using Active Series for a few months now and am on my second pair. They have great arch support, and also have just the right amount of cushioning. Designed for athletic shoes, they claim to reduce shock by 40%. Note that I specifically like Active Series — not the same thing as the other Dr. Scholl’s athletic insoles. Active Series can be a bit harder to find, but I found my current pair for $19.97 at WalMart.
Thorlo Thick Cushion Running Socks – I never realized the difference socks could make in running/walking comfort, until I tried these. They are especially made for running, and have some cushioning built-in in just the right places on the bottom. It’s not padding; it’s extra knitting that provides the cushioning, but not so thick that it affects shoe fit. I’ve been wearing these for about four years now and have worn out many a pair. Well worth the investment. I’ve found them at Dick’s Sporting Goods, at a local sock store, and from online shoe retailers; about $12.
Do you have any favorite foot fitness products to recommend? Please share in the comments!