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Walking/footwear for walking on a treadmill

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Question
Hello Scott, I'm 67 yrs old, overweight and out of shape. My heart is fine. I have a treadmill that just collects dust and I want to use it, but I have no idea what shoe/sneaker I should purchase. I don't intend to run, but just walk on my treadmill building up endurance and speed with use and time. Doctor said go for it. Can you recommmend some foot-gear by brand and name that doesn't cost a fortune (not more than $50) and doesn't cause ankle friction by slippage? I'd be most appreciative. I don't have anyone else to ask.

Answer
The treadmill does not require any different shoes than if you were walking outdoors, and you are right to seek advice about foot ware.

I hate to the bringer of bad news, but good shoes for $50 is almost impossible. However, a good pair of $100+ shoes will last you 500-600 miles of walking. The best way to get the right shoe and fit is to go to a specialty running store near you. They should have a knowledgeable staff capable of analyzing your walking mechanics. They should be able to narrow it down to 3-4 shoes that fit well, from which you should choose the shoe that feels best on your feet.

You may luck out and find a pair of close-out shoes that are marked down considerably. But even then, $70-80 is probably the best you will see. Quality shoes keep going up in price, but you get what you pay for.

There is no one brand that is best for everyone, but you should stick with major brands, such as Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, Nike, Mizuno, Asics or Adidas.

I hope that helps even though it may not have been what you wanted to hear.

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Scott Demaree

Expertise

I can answer questions about training, physiology, nutrition, technique, equipment and injury prevention. My background is not medical, so I will not be able to answer detailed questions about injury treatment. However, during 30 years of endurance exercise I have had a few injuries so I feel qualified to talk about things that have worked for me and others.

Experience

I have been a long distance runner since 1978 and took up racewalking in 1982. More recently, I have worked as a certified personal trainer helping people with a wide range of exercise needs. Last year, I coached several people to successfully finish the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in Dallas (60 miles in three days).

Organizations
American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, National Science Teachers Association

Publications
Journal articles associated with my graduate work with me as the primary author were published in the Journal of Nutrition, Acta Physiologica Scandanavica. Additionally, I co-authored the chapter on exercise metabolism in ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 4th Edition. Finally. I co-authored a book for beginning marathon runners (Marathoning 101).


Education/Credentials
I have recent Master's degrees in Exercise Science from Wichita State University and Nutrition from Texas A&M University.

Awards and Honors
I won national championships in the 1986 100-Kilometer Racewalk and the 1989 24-Hour Run.

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