How important are shoes for your indoor or outdoor activity? We tend to be concerned about getting fit but do not realize that shoes are the mainstay in any sporting activity. One common thing that we tend to overlook is choosing the wrong shoe for their feet or for their workout routine. Not many know this but there are particular types of shoes to suit the specific form of exercise, from running, walking, hiking to working out at the gym.
Source : Pixabay, 2016
Why should you have the correct shoes for your workout?
When it comes to fitness training and sports, do not undervalue the important role your feet play in maintaining stability, speed, and performance. Your feet are the very basis of your exercise because the impact when your feet touches the ground is absorbed from your feet to your legs, and travels all the way to your spine. Finding the correct shoe is important in helping you avoid injury and discomfort while enhancing your performance.
Avoid injuries and discomfort
Choosing the right shoe for your fitness activity is essential because it can protect you against common injury, both in and out of the gym. With the right type of shoe, you can avoid getting sprains, blisters, corns, calluses, heel pain, or even as far as breaking your ankle. According to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, failure to wear the right footwear could cause and worsen Metatarsalgia, a condition which is characterized by searing pain within the ball and socket joints of the ankle.
Boost your performance
Another reason why you should choose the correct sports shoe is to boost performance. Each type of sports shoe is determined by what the wearer frequently does during his or her workout routine. The American Orthopedic and Ankle Society suggests that the type of shoe you should wear depends on the sport or routine you are most active in e.g. football players should wear spiked shoes, volleyball players should wear volleyball shoes, etc. These shoes are specifically made to enhance your capacity and create a better range of movement that would suit your sport or routine.
How to choose the correct fitness footwear?
Source : pexels.com
There are many factors to consider when choosing the correct fitness footwear. For some, it is either the pair is on sale, or it has an awesome colorway or color combination. But the most important thing that you should look for in your footwear is performance. When choosing the perfect pair, always consider the right fit (how your feet feels wearing it), the type of fitness activity you are doing, and your feet type.
Running shoes vs cross-training vs strength training
One of the main factors that you should consider when choosing the right shoe is the type of workout or sports that you are into. If you are performing that specific routine at least two or three times a week, then choose the corresponding shoe that would be perfect for that specific workout. There are generally three types of sports shoes that you would encounter: (1) running shoes, (2) cross training, and (3) strength training shoes.
If you love to hit the treadmill, walk, run or jog, then a running shoe is the right type of shoe for you. Running, walking, and jogging are considered as one of the simplest forms of exercise, therefore there is technically no “best” shoe that you can wear, however, there are some shoes designed for that specific purpose. Most running shoes today are engineered for optimum heel-to-toe motion and cushioning for improved performance.
If you are into aerobics, CrossFit, kickboxing, weight training, or anything that requires side to side movement, then cross training shoes would definitely suit your workout. These type of shoes are more versatile, supportive, and very durable. Due to rigorous lateral movement, cross training shoes are made with thicker and heavier soles than walking or running shoes. However, there are some designs with lightweight features.
If you are keen on weightlifting, deadlifting, squats, bench and shoulder presses, then a strength training shoe would be perfect for your routine. The key to this type of sports shoe is in the heel since strength training contracts muscles as a form of resistance. Lifting shoes are non-compressible, does not have cushioning and has little to no heel, it does, however, have support for traction and stability of a flatter shoe. In addition, strength training shoes are lighter and provides better mobility under duress.
Knowing your foot type
Another thing that you should consider when choosing the perfect shoes for your workout is knowing your foot type. You can consult a podiatrist or simply look at your soles’ wear patterns. These patterns determine the type of pronations or the inward rolling of your feet when you walk. Generally, there are three types of pronations: (1) supination, (2) neutral pronation, and (3) overpronation.
If you find that the top outer edge of your sole has worn out, then you are a supinator. A supinator tends to have higher arches and your feet rolls outwards. What you need is a shoe with cushioning for better shock absorption.
Your foot has neutral pronation if your soles are evenly worn out. This type of pronation is characterized as the optimum motion when running or walking. For premium performance, you should wear a shoe with stability, and moderate cushioning and support.
If the top inner edge of your soles is worn out, then you are an overpronation. Overpronation is characterized by your feet’s immense inward rolling which is mostly experienced by flat-footed individuals. What you need is a motion control and high-stability shoe which helps align your feet better with your legs.
Source : pexels.com
With technology, fitness shoes no longer need a break-in period. But no matter how much you love that pair of shoes which has been with you since your college days or that perfect color pair your mum gave you when you were in your teens, it is advisable to replace your shoes regularly. They tend to wear out, especially with constant wear and tear. Once they are no longer absorbing the pounding and jarring action by your feet, you are more likely to sustain knee and ankle injuries.
And just because a friend tells you that certain shoes are great, it does not mean that they are right for you. Keep in mind what fitness activity you are in, do a quick search on reputable sites like iprice, to check the various types of shoes available and don’t forget to try out several pairs to gauge the kind of support and cushioning of the shoes. Then, you and your feet are all ready to go!