Working out – we do it to look and feel good about our bodies. However, if we don’t take certain measures like stretch properly and hydrate, our wellbeing can end up paying the price. One of the steps that is crucial to take is to find the workout shoe that fits your specific needs and workout regime. Below are some pointers to finding the footwear that is perfect for you.
1) Different sports have different requirements of footwear, so look for specific features that cater to your hobbies. If you’re a runner, identify a set of shoes that provide proper cushioning across the foot to absorb the repetitive pounding (especially towards the front rather than the heel), and is more flexible and lightweight than your typical walking footwear (which should have extra cushion in the rear). If you’re performing varied motions throughout your workout, cross-trainers will win out over running shoes because of the weightier durability that will stand up against the intense swiveling or a basketball game or kick boxing class. Additionally, the sole provides more traction than that of a running shoe, which is needed if you perform on slippery indoor courts or need to maintain balance while pulling off some fancy Zumba moves. Are you a person of many talents? While you may want to buy different shoes for different activities, if you’re looking for one set to handle it all, let the most rigorous activity you are performing guide your decision.
While your trainers will be able to handle a task like walking, you may find yourself struggling while long-distancing running; reversely, though not ideal, your running sneakers will be able to hold up during a spinning class or round of weight-lifting. Another factor to consider is the kind of terrain you’ll be navigating – running on a track is very different than running through the woods, so find the appropriate traction that will provide you with the right amount of grip. If you’re going to be tackling uneven ground, stiff support and deep lugs will provide additional stability as your foot tilts this way and that.
2) The shape of your foot as well as the way your foot hits the ground will play a significant role in determining which shoe is for you. If your foot tends to roll out as you walk (otherwise known as supinate), this is a good indicator that you’ll need a shoe with extra cushion to ease the burden on this part of the foot. Cushioning will also help with overpronate (rolling your foot inward) and, when positioned towards the middle, can help control the inner inclination. These various features are meant to provide “motion control” that is meant to have your foot optimally strike the surface. The higher your arch, the more curve you’ll need; the flatter your feet, the more firmness is a must. New Balance allows you to browse their collection with specific filters that indicate what health features are present.
3) When trying on the shoe itself, your foot should be able to slide in-and-out while the shoe is laced. While physical shifting in the heel area is encouraged, be wary of any discomfort or rubbing that will soon lead to blisters. Where there should be no movement is around the middle of your sole, otherwise known as your instep, though pressure to the point of discomfort is obviously a negative. Your toes should not be jammed against the tip of the shoe (or each other), as your feet may even bloat as you work out. Think that’s strange? Believe it or not, the size of our feet changes throughout the span of a day, and tend to be larger at night!
4) Buying the right shoe is more important than most people think – not only does it make working out easier, but failure to do so commonly lead to painful shin splints, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. If you find yourself experiencing this common ailment, you’ll be happy to know that you can find relieving products at places like Footwear Etc. If you are overpronate or have flat feet, you are more likely to develop bunions as the big toe receives unnatural amounts of weight. While every podiatrist will recommend tossing the pointy-toed-shoes and stilettos to help your bunions, there are additional steps you can implement for your workout shoe, starting with having orthotics customized to fit your specific foot. Additionally, find shoes that have a wide, deep toe box that won’t hug or squish too tightly, as well as giving materials like mesh lay on top of the swollen area. Of course, addressing the overpronation with sturdy arch support is a must. If you find that the women’s shoes available just aren’t quite wide enough, don’t hesitate to try on a pair of men’s sneakers! There are plenty of pain-relieving products out there to address bunions, including gel guards, relief splints and toe spacers. To limit the discomfort that accompanies this common irregularity, you can routinely stretch your toes forward and under as well as apply a cool compact to reduce swelling.
If you are experiencing pain during normal activities, it is advised that you consult with an orthopedist who can help clarify what you should specifically be seeking in your footwear, as well as if any additional measures as required.