THE ATHLETIC SHOE-IN

You gotta tie one on

The athletic shoe industry is running faster and profits are jumping higher than the old P.F. Flyer executives ever dreamed. Athletic shoes are accepted, especially in white, as standard accessories.

Rick Miller, a podiatrist specializing in sports medicine and surgery, says that the more specialized the shoe, the better. He mentions the new aerobic walking shoe Joy Walker by Foot-Joy, which comes with removable inserts-less cushion for grass, thicker cushion for concrete.

Cheap shoes often aren’t good choices. Miller says. “The 220-plus pound weekend athlete jogging in a pair of $6.99 Target shoes will soon see me with a stress fracture,” he said. And wearing an athletic shoe for a variety of sports can be down-right dangerous.

Reebok’s Freestyle, which gained notoriety as the first aerobic shoe, has been criticized lately as dated for anything but everyday wear. Reebok’s newest aerobic shoe, Charisma, has denser padding and better comfort and support. Autry Industries, a Dallas-based company that some local salespeople criticize as a Reebok copycat, is gaining name recognition with a line of sport-specific shoes. Last year the Autry tennis shoe was rated by Tennis magazine as the finest shoe on the market. Relative newcomer Avia is Reebok’s next strongest challenger. The most popular Reebok ripoff is manufactured by Stadia and sold through Kinney for $24.99.

Jill Robie, a salesperson at the Athletic Attic in Caruth Plaza, says that wearing athletic shoes for movements other than those they were built to handle can wear them out prematurely. Also, she warns against leaving athletic shoes in a hot car. The soles can harden and change shape. Don’t let wet shoes dry in the sun. Dry at room temperature. Don’t wear running shoes longer than 500 miles. And, of course, no machine washings. Use shoe cream and mild soap to care for your new shoes.

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