Anyone who is into exercising will agree that there is nothing worse than working out in uncomfortable shoes. But besides comfort, wearing the right shoes, experts say, will prevent health complications. Miguel Clement Mutali, a trained fitness instructor and sports therapist working at Kigali Marriott Hotel, says choosing proper shoes can protect one against common injuries depending on the type of workout they are involved in. He mentions that for instance, in aerobics, good shoes can lessen the impact of the steps, and cushion the foot from heavy landings or steps. He says that in any kind of sports, good comfortable shoes can help improve one’s performance, enabling you to exercise well throughout your workout session. Louise Mukakimenyi, a fitness trainer at La Palisse Hotel Kigali, says the first thing to consider when you want to start a fitness routine is looking for shoes that fit well. This, she says, will prevent injuries caused by inappropriate shoes, which might interfere with the whole agenda of being physically fit. She believes that when one invests in quality shoes, it can help them prevent foot and ankle damage which are common injuries. “Having the right footwear can make your workout a more pleasant and comfortable experience. And if you want your fitness journey to be successful, there is need to invest in a pair of shoes meant for exercising,” she says. Benefits Celestine Karangwa, a physiotherapist in Kigali, believes that improper workout footwear can cause a number of injuries, including ankle strains and fractures, which are most common. He says there is also a condition that presents as pain in the ball of the foot, and which has been known to worsen by poorly fitting footwear. In addition, Karangwa says physical activities can be very demanding on the feet, especially when it comes to high-impact sports. For instance, he mentions that running or strenuous exercises can put stress on your weight-bearing joints, which can result in joint pain or stress fractures. “From experience, proper footwear will also help one’s feet stay strong, as it will prevent swelling, redness, or sores,” he says. In addition to this, he says, one can tell if they are wearing the right or wrong shoes. For instance, when the shoes are right, they should be comfortable. He says that shoes that don’t feel naturally comfortable on the feet may be the wrong size, or you might have the wrong design for your feet. According to Mutali, comfortable shoes should cushion the foot, and well-fitting shoes should also aid in the alignment of the feet when they touch the ground. This, he says, will ensure that the feet are in good condition while active in sport or going through an exercise routine. Also, always replace worn-out shoes, as experts say worn-out sports shoes do not provide the feet with adequate protection during a workout.