Athletic shoes are a big investment, and since it’s pretty hard to find a pair for under $100 these days, you want to make that investment count. Not only that, but you want to make sure the shoe you’re buying is the right one for your workouts—after all, not all athletic shoes are created equally. Here’s how to find the best shoe to fit your particular exercise needs.Unless you are prepared to purchase multiple pairs for all the activities you do, consider what you spend the most time on and use our guide below to make the best purchase.
Which Workouts Are You Doing The Most?
Traditional running shoes provide extra cushioning, because landing can generate a force of one half to three times your body weight. A good running shoe will provide a flexible toe box at the ball of the foot and good stability at the rear of the foot. The sole should be durable and provide good traction on pavement or dirt. Running shoes come in a wide variety of types including stability, neutral, motion control, and cushioned.
Stability Running Shoes:
These shoes offer not only a stable ride but they provide a ton of great cushioning as well. The fabric breathes well and your choices include multiple colors, sizes and widths.
Neutral Running Shoes:
Most devotees to these shoes say it is like putting on another pair of socks. Light and well-cushioned these offer a barefoot feel while giving enough support for the neutral runner to keep going.
Motion Control Running Shoes:
If you are a heavy pronator or have low arches or flat feet, this shoe will support you well. It comes with a roomy toe box and gives more comfort and cush than you would expect in a motion control shoe.
If you have joint pain or back issues and running has been a source of pain for you, this just might be the solution. This shoe offers more cushion than any other out there. Bonus: You’ll be a few inches taller!
Yes, you can wear running shoes for walking. However, if you are a serious walker and put in a lot of miles, you might want to consider walking shoes and here’s why. Walking shoes are specifically designed to help propel you through the heel-toe motion of the proper walking technique. While runners land flat-footed, walkers land on their heels. So the heels of walking shoes are often beveled to increase stability. And that stability is equally important when you roll your foot forward and push off with your toe. And with the below shoes, they are specifically customized to your foot, so it can help with pain issues, arch support and more.
The ABEO Advance pair of shoes from the Walking Company are customized based on specific arch and foot profile and provide the perfect balance, support and cushioning. The added arch support is definitely noticeable and yet they are still lightweight! Plus, they’re super cute, which is important to me and not always the case when it comes to orthotic shoes.
Cross Training/ Weight Lifting
Think of cross-trainers as your “catch-all” shoe. If you have a wide variety in your workout week, this might be the best shoe for you. While they don’t have the cushion or support of a running shoe, they are structured to help you move in a wider variety of ways. For instance, running shoes propel you forward while cross training shoes also help you move laterally for things like shuffling or lateral jumps. If you spend most of your time in the weight room this type of shoe is definitely for you.
More Ways To Find The Right Shoe
Analyze Your Foot and Gait
There are a variety of tests you can find online that will help you understand your own foot shape and running gait. However, you can also let a qualified person do it for you. Find a specialized running store in your community. Typically there is no charge for you to go in and spend some time on the treadmill while an employee watches you move and discusses what type of shoe would be best for you. It’s worth the time and can help you avoid chronic injury. For instance, a person with a flat foot will not wear the same shoe as someone with a high arch.
Get Properly Sized
Much like the help with your gait, it is crucial to get the proper sized shoe. What you try on initially might not feel right after you’ve lived with it for a time. First, make sure you shop in the later part of the day when you feet have had time to swell a bit. Then, bring the socks along that you plan to wear. Once you have the shoes on your feet, spend time walking, jogging or jumping in the store. If a treadmill is available for use, give it a shot. Also keep in mind that most people have two different sized feet, so make sure you measure both.
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