When choosing your workout wear, buying good shoes should always be at the top of this list, even though they’re found at the bottom of your body. There’s an age-old idiom that states, “take care of your feet, because your feet take you everywhere.” This is especially true when it comes to exercise and working out!
Think of it this way, your feet and legs are at the very base of the entire body and they need to be protected from excessive wear and tear when working out. This is exactly where a good pair of shoes comes into play during our daily practices. Whether you’re a runner, walker, into Tai Chi or yoga, feet need to be firmly and safely planted on the ground before beginning your routine.
We all know the rewards of having good shoes underneath us when we’re working out, including, but not limited to:
- Better structure, stability and support
- Less stress and strain on muscles and joints
- Improved breathing and heart rates
We’ll almost always spend more on a good pair of workout shoes, but in the long run (pardon the pun), they’re worth every penny. Here’s some tips on getting the best bang for your buck when purchasing athletic shoes:
Don’t Tread on Me
Many active people, from weekend warriors to professional athletes and everyday workout people like ourselves often look at the tread on the bottom of our shoes when it comes time to consider replacing them. According to research from experts at Live Strong, it’s obvious that worn out shoes don’t offer the proper support needed for physical activity.
But we shouldn’t always be looking at the outside (or the wear of the exterior tread), but rather from the inside and the midsole section of the shoe instead. This section that delivers arch support often begins to show deterioration long before the tread, especially for runners.
Runners, and those who regularly walk or jog, will need extra support, cushioning and traction to ensure their safety and stability. Selecting the best pair of these shoes comes down to something called pronation, or the way your foot turns inward when in motion. Those with excessive or lesser pronation need different types of shoes.
You should always visit a shoe store that specializes in athletic footwear to get not only the best product, but also helpful guidance and advice from trained staff in this field. If you need extra help for certain conditions like fallen arches, foot or back pain, don’t be afraid to get the assistance of professionals at places like Good Feet who specialize in these problems.
Many people have personal preferences when it comes to certain brand names of athletic footwear, like Nike for example. This shoe company has evolved into one of the most recognizable, sought after and powerful brands in history. While celebrity endorsements for this product run into the billions, it’s not without the support, proven endurance and overall performance of their product that has given them this staying power.
Consider Your Options
For some women with larger feet or men with smaller soles, they may opt to shop in the department that’s opposite of their gender just to get a size that’s in stock. But just like clothing, athletic shoes are specifically designed to tailor towards differences in male and female feet. For example, traditionally, women tend to have feet that are narrower than men. Take the time to special order your size if it’s not available in store.
It really comes down to what is best for any given athlete, considering their specific sport and what provides the best comfort, support, control, agility and performance that enhances their game or workout routine. Putting style and personal preferences aside, make sure to do your research when it comes to the best shoe for you.