Think about the essential things you need for a workout. iPod, water bottle, hmmm.. anything else? Oh, right shoes. But with all the high tech, specialized shoes out there, what do you pick? “The biggest mistake people make when they start running, jogging, or some other exercise program is just reaching into the closet and pulling out an old pair of sneakers,” says Tracie Rodgers, PhD, spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise. The shoe you pick may be not be correct for the workout you like. Yes, the shoe you wear does matter. Wearing the right type of shoe helps to decrease the chance of injury.
First determine what type of exercise you will be performing. That will tell you the type of shoe you should be wearing. Now, unless you play multiple sports three times a week or more, you don’t need a specific shoe for every sport. If you have worked out for some time injury-free, then stick with the type shoe you have been wearing. There is really no reason to change.
Once you figure out what type of shoe you need, remember to head over to Rock Bottom Fitness to score a great deal on your kicks!
Types Of Athletic Shoes
If you mostly run or jog, go with running shoes as they’re designed for heel-to-toe motion. Your body takes the brunt of up to three times your weight when you jog, so even if you run just the weekly mile or two, you need a running shoe. Running shoes are designed to provide maximum overall shock absorption for the foot with an inch of foam midsole to absorb shock and lessen foot fatigue. Such a shoe should also have good heel control and are sturdier than racing shoes or barefoot shoes. Although not a cure-all, these qualities in a running/sports shoe help prevent shin splints, tendinitis, heel pain, stress fractures and other overuse syndromes.
If you run on trails, though, go with trail running shoes. The nubs on its thick outsole dig into dirt — so you avoid taking a spill — and a guard under the midsole protects feet from debris.
Tennis shoes isn’t just another name for sneaker. Tennis shoes are engineered to support the foot during quick side-to-side movements or shifts in weight. If you ever step on a court, these are a must. A shoe that provides stability on the inside and outside of the foot is an important choice. Flexibility in the sole beneath the ball of the foot allows repeated, quick forward movements for a fast reaction at the net. These shoes are made to handle the rigors of the game and an abrasive court, they have rubber soles designed to prevent the kind of sliding and stumbling that’s common in tennis because of quick lateral moves and sudden starts and stops. Avoid running or walking in your tennies (not enough cushioning or back-to-front stability).
Cross-training shoes, or cross trainers, combine several of the features of other shoe types so that you can participate in more than one sport. A good cross trainer should have the flexibility in the forefoot you need for running combined with the lateral control necessary for aerobics or tennis. Flexible soles allow you to move in any direction without twisting an ankle. If your workouts consist of weight-training or aerobics classes, this is your go-to shoe. Experts suggest wearing a running shoe anytime you run, but it’s safe to wear cross-trainers to warm up on the treadmill.