One of the common accessories and also the single most important part in any kind of physical activity is undoubtedly a pair of shoes. Embracing right shoes for right activity reflects one's fitness, performance enhancement and preventing the risk of blistering. Though we are conscious of this fact, many of us neglect or fail to choose one of the workout-fundamentals before they start their workout routine. Usually, many of us only bound to pick shoes for running or jogging. That's why, today, we get you to go through a few important points that will help you in choosing perfect shoes/sneakers this time. Take a look...
1. Right Shoes For Each Activity and Their Virtues
Running shoes or sneakers – For jogging and running
Flexible, lightweight, also engineered for forward motion with extra cushioning to prevent the force of every foot knock to prevent blistering.
Cross-trainers – For any exercise on a hard surface that involves changes in direction (Ex: aerobics, weight training and kickboxing)
Less cushioned, heavier, durable and stable. Not preferred for running.
Walking shoes – For walking
Stiffer and heavier than running shoes
Trail shoes – Running and walking in grass and mud or trails
Court shoes – tennis, basketball, volleyball and any other court sports
Sturdy and stable sole to support back and forth movement and side-to-side movement
Outdoor field sports shoes – soccer, golf and baseball
Cleated, spiked or studded for best traction
Speciality shoes – golf, aerobics and bicycling
Lifestyle shoes – Casual wear. Not for workouts
Flat soles and sporty look
2. Get The Right Fit
Before you select, be specific that the shoes are whether for running, aerobics or hiking. Then only, go to the selection of the shoe type. Because shoes for walking give a stiffer feeling to feet while shoes for running are tailored with extra cushioning and they seem quite flexible to feet. Come to a conclusion that we need to invest in two separate pairs of shoes for each physical activities. But, if you are a gym enthusiast, purchasing cross-trainer shoes are very helpful for performing multiple activities. Be conscious that wrong shoes may cause aching heels.
3. Try To Understand Your Feet
Knowing your foot size and arch type always help you in picking up right shoes. But, many of us don't even know that our feet are in different shapes. Finding out foot's shape from its water footprint on a brown paper or consulting a podiatrist (foot and ankle surgeon) plays a key role in determining the right type of shoes for your feet. For that, you must have the knowledge of overpronation, underpronation (supination), arch type (normal, flat, or high). See the below pictures to get an idea of pronation.
4. Feet Change As You Age
Many of us don't know the fact that the feet change as we age. Check your feet size for every two or three years to decide which size shoes fit them at that time. Better to shop at the end of the day (prefer evenings) because feet become swell and also expand after the whole day walk.
5. Try On With Own Socks
Wear the socks you use mostly and come to the store and then, give the shoes you are going to purchase a try. Because we can’t predict how the sample socks in the store would finely fit your feet.
Do you wear orthotics? Then, wear them while testing to know whether shoes fit you well. Walk or jog a few steps in the store to find out their comfortableness.
6. Size Differs From Brands
Brands carry a difference among the sizes of their shoes, which means size 8 pair in Reebok differs from the same size pair in Adidas. So, you should only eye on what fits your feet but not size.
7. Leave Brand Addiction
Who knows which brand shoes fit your feet well? Instead of sticking to a brand, try shoes from every other brand until you find the perfect one when you visit the store. You will definitely come to know how many alternatives your feet possess and also you may finally end up at finding a different brand shoe this time.
8. Key Observations While Choosing
Rule of thumb – There should be a thumb width gap between your big toe and the end of the shoe
Toes have to move freely
Greater grip on the soles
Thorough support around the ankles
Heels shouldn't slip out when you walk which means it should be tight
Features that are offered like filled with gel/freon/air, extra cushioning or extra shock absorption may not suit everyone
Fashion shouldn't be a key factor instead of comfort
Purchase 100% cotton socks that eliminate chafing and irritating sweat
9. It's Time To Change
Many of us continue wearing the same pair until their sole wear out. That's not at all fair to feet's health and, to say, to your entire body. As you use and as days pass on (of course, usage varies from one person to another), you come to feel the depreciation in the comfort levels your shoes provide you for so long or getting aches and pains in shins, knees and hips. All these remind you that it's time to purchase a new pair. After a long usage, the shoes seem uneven if you keep them on a flat surface.
Leave the shoes which were left aside for so long because environmental factors like humidity and temperature might affect their quality and lifetime.
10. Avoid Purchasing Low-Quality Shoes
Usually, good quality shoes are always pricey. They can spare you a few bucks from spending for your medical care. Purchasing a pair of low-cost shoes can't be as so good as purchasing costly shoes. Ultimately, a right pair of shoes makes you physically fit and also saves you financially.
Follow the above shoe guide, pick a perfect pair of shoes, lace them up for some real happy feet and gear towards your workout routine.
(Images Courtesy: Shutterstock)