Whether you are going to be running, lifting weights, playing basketball, or just standing at work for hours, it is vitally important to have good shoes. Worn out shoe will not adequately protect your feet. When the treads of your shoe start wearing off, or the midsole on the bottom starts cracking, it’s time for new shoes.
What you wear on your feet everyday–but especially when you are working out, affects your whole body. Making sure you have on good, quality shoes that are built for the activity you are doing, will help you prevent foot and ankle injury, and make your back much happier.
Wearing appropriate, quality footwear will not only prevent injury, but also increase your success, fitness, performance, and general happiness in the activity you are engaged in. If your feet are happy, your body will be happy. If your body is happy, your mind will be too. Here’s how you can buy the best athletic shoes:
Choose Your Shoes Based on Your Workout
When you are buying athletic shoes, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices. Running shoes, walking shoes, crossfit shoes–which ones are right for you and your activities?
If you mostly run or walk, choose a running shoe. Running shoes are built for heel-to-toe motion that works for both walking and running. While some shoes are labelled as “walking shoes,” running shoes are built for a wider variety of foot sizes and shapes and will last longer.
If you do aerobics, lift, or do a variety of activities, then cross trainers are for you. Cross training shoes are built to give you support in the kind of side-to-side movement that you don’t do in running or walking.
Look at the Pattern on Your Old Shoes
Your last, worn out pair of sneakers can show you what you are asking your shoes to do every time you wear them.
● If your shoes are worn on the top outer edge, that means your feet may have high arches and tend to roll out. You should look for shoes that are labelled as “cushioning” or “neutral” and offer high shock absorption.
● If your shoes are evenly worn across the bottom, that means you are evenly distributing the shock across the bottom of your foot as you move. You should look for shoes that are labelled as providing “stability” or “moderate-stability.”
● If the top inner edge is worn, then your feet are rolling in, often due to flat or low arches. If this is you, you need “high stability” or “motion control” athletic shoes.
Try on Shoes After a Workout
Once you’ve got an idea of what you are looking for, it’s time to try on some shoes. This is true whether you are shopping online or at any department store. Most of us wear athletic shoes for physical activity, which will bring more blood to our feet and make them swell up.
You want to try on shoes when your feet are at their largest. You will be unhappy if your athletic shoes get too tight when you’re exercising.
Try to shop in-person to check out different brands and see how they fit. You may end up buying shoes at a physical location, but whether you do or not, trying on shoes in person will give you a guide on what fits and what doesn’t.
You Don’t Have to Pay a Fortune
Don’t pay too much or too little. Fortunately, the most expensive shoe isn’t always the best shoe, and probably isn’t the best shoe for you.
You want to buy shoes that you’re going to wear for a while, and that give you adequate support, so you want them to be good quality. Buying shoes from a large retail store may not cost you a lot, but often the quality of the shoes is just as cheap.
You are better off shopping at department stores or small retailers–where will you have a variety to chose from and expert advice from the employees. Department stores will often have good sales, but often don’t have much selection in either size or different styles. Shopping at stores online is an opportunity to search for both better deals and more selection–but be careful.
Making the Right Call
Whether you wear your athletic shoes for intensive workouts or just at work, whether you are a triathlete or just someone who likes to walk–your shoes are the foundation of your posture and health. Your goal needs to be to get good, supportive shoes and get them for a good price.
Do a little research, and try on different brands to find the best fit. Shop both in person and on the internet. This will help you pick the athletic shoes that will offer wear, style, and support.