Not all exercise shoes are made the same. Each sport asks different things of your feet. Here’s how to find the correct shoes for your favorite activity.
Pick your sport
If you are planning to take up running, you need to consider the impact of hitting the ground at full force. Although a traditional running shoe features a design that supports your foot through all the stages of running and absorbs the shock of impact, many runners are now extolling the virtues of a near-naked shoe or slipper. But they aren’t for everyone.
Do your research and read the reviews. A basketball shoe is lightweight to help you have lift-off for a lay-up, but it may also be a high-top style to support your ankle. There are different shoes for nearly every sport, including tennis and volleyball, track and field, golf and soccer.
If you like to work out in the gym but you also do cardio and you don’t want to be fussing around with different shoes, you might consider CrossFit shoes for women. These will take you from the mat to the track and back again.
Consider the environment
Once you have chosen your sport, the next factor you need to consider is the environment in which you will be walking, running and jumping. Some gyms will have specifications for shoes, depending on the type of floor they are played on, for example, light-soled shoes only on the hardwood. If you are hiking out in the woods you will want a shoe or boot designed for this purpose.
It will have ankle support and a specially formed sole to absorb shock and avoid injury due to turning an ankle on a root or stubbing a toe on a rock. The hardcore outdoors exercise enthusiast might also need something in a waterproof version for nasty weather.
Know your gait
Have a specialist look at your walk to tell if you are over-pronating (rolling in) or over-supinating (rolling out). Discuss your arch, your ankles, and your toes to ensure you are choosing a shoe that fits properly and offers the correct amount of support in all the right places.
When it comes to the price tag on a pair of shoes, consider the cost-per-wear. A pair of shoes for running around on the weekend shouldn’t cost as much as a pair of shoes that you wear for comfort, support, and stability at the gym or on the running track. Some serious shoe vendors will offer a money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied for any reason. This can help immensely when you are making a decision, particularly if you are investing a fair amount of money.
You aren’t about to run around the shoe store for an hour, but that is exactly what you plan to do as soon as you get those trainers to the track. So ask about returns and exchanges, for your peace of mind.