The human body is a moving chain. The feet are the foundation of this chain. If anything goes wrong with your feet, the problem would certainly rise to your knees, hips, spine by causing pain in those areas and eventually affect your posture and gait. For this exact reason, the importance of wearing the right workout shoes cannot be overestimated.
It is easy to think that one shoe can serve you for different workouts; however, what seems like the perfect running shoes would be bad for weight lifting. The right shoes are specialized for the activity you want to engage in.
Choosing the right shoes is as important as the workout itself. There are many types of workout shoes. It can be overwhelming when trying to select a pair. To ensure your shoes work for your exercise and not against it, there are factors to consider.
1. Buy a Shoe That Fits
Buying a well-fitting shoe is great for your posture and overall health. You can check out the Best Shoes for Zumba 2021: Reviews + Buying Guide to get great options of shoes for your daily exercise routine as well.
- Measure: The first step to buying a shoe that fits is measuring your feet. Measure the length and width of both foot so you can get your perfect size
- Socks: Bring or wear the exact sock you would use when shopping for shoes. Socks have different thicknesses, and this will affect how well the shoe will fit.
- Shop in the Evening: Feet tend to swell and increase in size throughout the day from walking or standing. It’s best to buy your workout shoe when your feet are at their largest.
- Rule of Thumb: The rule simply says there should be about a thumbs width (3/8 -1/2 inch) between the front of your big toe and the end of the shoe. For the width, you should be able to move your foot from side to side. The heel should not slip out when walking, it should feel snug and secure in the shoe, and you should be able to freely wiggle all your toes.
2. Your Arch Is Important
To be able to effectively accommodate your arch, you need to know the shape of your feet. There are three arch types neutral-arc, high arc, and low arch. An easy way to know the shape of your foot is to do a ‘wet test.’
Wet your foot and step on brown paper or cardboard. If the entire sole of your foot shows with little or no curve at all on the inside, then you have a low arch. Choose a shoe with a motion-control feature and maximum support.
If only your heel and a part of your foot show with just a tiny connection between the two, then you have a high arc. Choose a shoe that’s cushioned and has a soft midsole.
For a neutral arch, you will see a distinct curve on the inside of your footprint. Choose a shoe that has a mix of support and cushion.
3. Check Out Your Shoe Options
Once you know your feet size, check out the design of the shoe you’re considering. There are four parts of a shoe.
- First is the sole and thread. This is the part of the shoe that provides traction and prevents you from falling.
- Next, check the heel-rise – if the position of the heel is higher than the toes.
- Then the toe box- if the width is sufficient to accommodate all toes.
- Last is the ankle support- check if the shoe stops below or above your ankle.
These different parts of the shoes come together to give different effects for different workouts.
4. Choose Shoes That Match Your Workout
- Walking: walking is a low-impact exercise, so you don’t need an extra cushion. A flat sole shoe would work just fine. You also don’t need a shoe with a heel rise.
- Running: look for shoes that have good cushion and heel rise. The heel should be a little higher than the toes to make forward motion easier.
- Hiking: choose shoes with a thick sole and a high ankle cut to give you stability and protect your ankle from hitting rocks.
- Circuit workout or camp: this exercise involves many changes in different directions, so a shoe that has lateral support is your best option. The shoe should also be flat from heel to toe and should have a higher ankle cut.
- Cardio workout: a flat sole shoe with a basic cushion is acceptable.
- Aerobics workout: it’s best to go for a lightweight shoe with extra shock absorption in the sole.
- Weight lifting: choose a shoe that offers a lot of support and has zero shock absorbing qualities
5. Know the Specifics
There are specific features that vary with different shoe types. These features affect the kind of activities these shoes can be used for. By knowing what these terms mean, you can properly select the best shoe for your workout.
- Traction: this gives the workout shoe grip. You need traction in workouts that require you to stop quickly without injury, e.g., running.
- Cushioning: This feature makes the feet comfortable in the shoe when doing high-impact exercises. It is also essential for running.
- Stability: This feature is needed in all workout shoes. It reduces the risk of you sustaining an injury. Stability locks the feet, especially when doing deadlifts and squats.
- Shock absorbency: a high volume of kinetic energy enters your body with every step, so this feature dissipates that energy and reduces the impact on your muscles and joints.
Choosing the right pair of shoes saves you from injury and increases your efficiency. When buying shoes, take out time to try them on in the store. Walk around or run if you have to. There’s nothing like breaking in the shoes. They should feel comfortable immediately when you wear them.
It is also important to replace your shoe after 500 miles of use. You can also use how the shoe looks and feels. If the heel starts to wear out or the shoe begins to feel uncomfortable, then it’s time to change them.
With the above guide, you would be able to get the perfect workout shoes that fit and protect you from injury.