Best Teen Workout Shoes

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    Toning Shoes: Do They Work?

    You’ve seen ads for shoes that promise to tone your butt, legs, and thighs, right? Beware. There's no solid research that they really help people firm up. They may, however, help painful heels. The best way to get more fit and toned is to make sure you're getting 60 minutes of activity or exercise a day. No matter how you move, keep your body safe and prevent injury by wearing shoes designed for your favorite activity.

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    Running Trend Alert: 'Barefoot" Running Shoes

    If you want to try these, do it slowly to avoid injury. These don't have the support or cushioning of a classic running shoe, so be careful. You really have to pay attention to how you run when you wear them. It is best to ask for expert advice. To make sure your body gets used to them, start out wearing them on soft surfaces.  For the first month, try them out just one day a week for 30 minutes. Increase the days you wear them after a couple weeks and slowly up your running time by a few minutes each week. If you feel any pain, stop using them and see your doctor.

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    What Makes a Good Running Shoe?

    Classic running shoes offer traction to help prevent slipping and support. Look for shoes with:

    • A thick heel for shock absorption for when your heels hit the ground
    • Forefoot cushioning and flexibility for when you push off on each step
    • Good arch support
  • best teen workout shoes slideshow

    Hiking: Sturdy Boots

    Going for a hike? Make sure you're wearing hiking boots or trail shoes instead of sneakers. Look for a pair that's wide and sturdy with lots of cushioning. You want to find a shoe with ankle support that’s cushioned around the heel so it will absorb the shock of going up and down hills.

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    Gym: Cross-Training Shoes

    When you're at the gym, you need one shoe that can handle a wide range of motions and activities -- from aerobics to weight-lifting. Try a good cross-trainer, which is an all-purpose sport shoe. They meet the basic requirements of many popular sports and activities, and are great for the gym.

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    Aerobics: Dance Shoes

    Hitting the gym for a dance class or dance-inspired aerobics class like Zumba? Surprisingly, running and other gym shoes aren't the best choice. They may have too much grip and traction that can cause knee and ankle injuries. Dance sneakers are safer because they let you make smooth movements when you turn. And they also offer foot support for moving side to side. Can't find dance sneakers? Look for a cross-training shoe with a smoother sole.

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    Soccer: Go With Cleats

    For a pickup game, sneakers may be just fine. But if you're playing on grass a lot or if the ground will be soft, wet, or muddy -- look for cleats. The little plastic nubs on the bottom can help keep you from slipping and falling. There are a lot of cleats out there -- some for baseball, football. Look for soccer cleats for the ankle movement you need. Track cleats have metal spikes -- usually a soccer no-no.

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    On the Court: Basketball Shoes

    You want to wear basketball shoes when you hit the basketball court to avoid ankle injury. Basketball shoes are designed to support the quick side-to-side movements of your foot and body better than other shoes. Look for shoes with lots of ankle support and rigid sides to help your body handle the stop-and-go shifting.

  • best teen workout shoes slideshow

    How Often Should I Replace My Shoes ?

    Replace your shoes once a year, at least. One way to find out if you need a new pair -- flip them over. Look for signs of wear. If the soles are worn out on the sides or middle, replace them. Shop for new shoes in the evening. That's when your feet are more likely to be swollen due to gravity. If shoes fit when your feet are swollen, they should fit well when you're walking, running, or playing in them.

  • best teen workout shoes slideshow

    Ballet flats, Flip Flops, Sandals: Bad for Your Feet?

    When you're seriously walking for longer than 10-15 minutes, skip the flats, sandals, and flip-flops because they offer zero support. The best shoes for walking are lightweight with a wide, flexible space where your toes go -- the toe box. That way your toes aren't squished. Otherwise, you could end up with blisters, calluses, or deformities like bunions, or hammertoes. Ouch!

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