Tennis Shoes: Everything You Need to Know

Tennis Shoes: Everything You Need to Know

A solid pair of tennis shoes should absolutely be a staple in everybody’s closet! When Dr. Freels isn’t in the office, she LIVES in her Brooks Ghost 12s. Tennis shoes offer so much more support than any other type of shoe, there is just absolutely no comparison (especially when you have a solid pair of custom orthotics to go with them). Since “athleisure” has become the latest fashion trend, wearing tennis shoes all day every day is easier than ever!

Back to the Basics: What do I need?

Ideally, we recommend that you have at least two pairs of tennis shoes: one pair for exercise and one pair for every day, especially if they are your go-to shoe! The shoe you pick for your exercising, running and other high-impact, high-sweat activities should be your MOST supportive pair. Your feet are under the most stress during these activities, so that’s when they need the most support. Here are some key features to look for when you go shopping:

  • Lots of cushion
  • Supportive heel
  • Does it pass the twist test?
  • Arch support
  • Breathability

Pro Tip: Whenever you invest in solid exercise shoes we also recommend that you purchase socks that are made of breathable, moisture-wicking material. When swear and moisture build up in your socks and shoes, it can lead to more serious foot conditions like athlete’s foot or fungus, so wearing the right socks will save you a lot of time, money, and discomfort. These Thorlo socks are a great option!

Your other pair of tennis shoes should be your go-to for everyday activities, like grocery shopping, running errands, travelling, etc. This pair should still be supportive, but it’s okay to sacrifice some function for fashion! Now, this definitely doesn’t mean throwing the entire checklist out the window, but if the cushion in your everyday shoe leaves a little something to be desired, it’s not the end of the world. This is another reason that orthotics are such a great investment- they instantly upgrade any shoe and make them custom to your needs!

How often do I need to buy new tennis shoes?

How often you replace your tennis shoes depends on a few different factors, like how often you exercise and how intense your workouts are. Typically, your high-impact exercise shoes should be replaced pretty frequently, anywhere between every 6-8 months. Obviously, those people who run 7 miles a day are going to put more wear and tear on their shoes than somebody who goes on a leisurely walk a few times a week. 

Your everyday shoes don’t need to be replaced as often, probably once a year. This also depends on how much you wear them and the types of activities you do! If you wear your tennis shoes all day every day, you will go through them much more quickly than somebody who only wears them to the grocery once a week.

How do I know if I need new shoes?

Having a general timeline of when you should buy new tennis shoes is great, but there are also a few key things you should keep an eye out for to monitor the life of your shoes. 

Monitoring the treads on your shoes is crucial. If the treads are worn down and have lost their grip, this is probably a good sign that it’s time to replace them! You should also pay attention to the wear and tear pattern. If the treads are worn unevenly (i.e. they are worn down more on the outside than the inside, or only worn down in the heel) then this could be indicative of gait issues. Essentially, your weight and impact are not being distributed evenly through your foot. If this is the case, we recommend that you make an appointment with your local podiatrist.

We also recommend that you do our signature twist test periodically to double check the stability of your shoes as they age. If you notice that they are significantly more flexible than they used to be, this is a good indication of significant wear and tear!

We know that buying tennis shoes can get expensive, but caring for your feet is one of the best investments you can make! If you make the best choices now, your wallet and your feet will thank you later.

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