When selecting workout shoes, most people pick what’s most attractive or affordable . However, the athletic shoes you wear during your workout are just as vital to your health as the exercises you perform.
Ensuring the proper type and fit of your athletic shoes helps to maximize the success and comfort of your workout. It also minimizes your risk of injury.
The first step to selecting the most appropriate workout shoes is to choose a brand that works best for your foot. I have very high arches and a narrow foot. So when athletic shoe shopping, I typically look for brands that run narrow in sizing and offer appropriate arch support.
If you’re someone with flat or wide feet, I recommend selecting brands that come in wide sizes and have additional cushion to provide greater arch support.
You must also consider the types of exercises and activities you’ll perform in your athletic shoes.
» If you will mostly be running or jogging during your workout, you need a running shoe. Look for a running shoe that is flexible and has a great amount of cushion, specifically in the heel .
Running shoes are specifically designed to reduce the impact of the repetitive running motion. Thus, running long distances in a shoe designed for walking or cross-training may have negative effects on your performance and comfort.
» If you’re an avid walker, select a shoe with a flatter sole and a stiffer base. Since walking does not exert as much force on the joints as running, you don’t need as much cushion or plasticity in your shoe to provide comfort and support.
» During my workouts, I typically lift weights, circuit train and attend group fitness classes. A cross-training shoe best suites my needs.
Cross-training shoes provide a high amount of ankle support, which protects joints in all directions of movement. The amount of heel cushion within a cross training shoe also provides additional support during high-intensity exercises.
You must also know when it’s time to replace your athletic shoes. The shelf life of your workout shoes mainly depends upon the amount of miles and use they get.
I typically replace my workout shoes at least once a year. However, when I start to see visible wear and tear on the shoes or feel any foot discomfort, I replace them sooner.
Higher quality athletic shoes also tend to last longer, so view this expenditure as an investment in your overall health.