Because aerobic exercises tend to involve quick movements, jumping, and leaping, it’s essential to be aware of the risks to your feet. Common injuries from aerobics often involve the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Improper shoes, surfaces, or routines, and straining muscles by too vigorous a routine can lead to foot problems.
Experts say that hardwood floors, especially with padded mats, are the best surfaces for your feet during aerobic exercise. And don't forget to stretch all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the leg, ankle, foot, and toes in a warm-up and cool-down periods before and after aerobics.
Proper shoes are crucial to successful, injury-free aerobics. Don’t assume that running shoes are appropriate – they lack the necessary lateral stability, and lift the heel too high to support aerobic activity. They also often have an acute outside flare that may put the athlete at greater risk of injury from the side-by-side motion in aerobics.
An ideal aerobic shoe will provide sufficient cushioning and shock absorption to compensate for pressure on the foot many times greater than found in walking. They must also have good medial-lateral stability - impact forces from aerobics can reach up to six times the force of gravity.
Because of the many lateral (side-to-side) movements, aerobic shoes need an arch design that can cope with these forces. So look for shoes with sufficiently thick upper leather or strap support to provide forefoot stability and prevent slippage of the foot and lateral shoe "breakup." Make sure shoes have a toe box that is high enough to prevent irritation of your toes and nails.