No matter your preferred type of exercise, ensuring you wear a quality shoe is crucial.
Not only will the proper shoe protect you from injury, a comfortable one will make your workout experience more pleasant. Believe me, your feet (and many other parts of your body) will thank you.
Wearing an inexpensive shoe or one that doesn’t support the anatomy of your foot puts you at an increased risk of injury such as ankle sprains or damage to your joints.
If you are in a competitive sport, the wrong shoe can negatively affect your performance.
A variety of shoes is available, specifically designed for your activity of preference. Tennis shoes offer extra flexibility. Zumba shoes are lightweight and are designed to cushion the ball of your foot.
Women in particular need good trail running shoes that have shock-absorbing features.
So how do you know what shoe to purchase with so many options available? The best advice for choosing a shoe that works for you is to trust your foot’s response to the shoes during and after training.
How do they feel?
Apart from that, exercise shoes shouldn’t fit like those you would wear to work. Rather than fitting snugly, they should have some give in the toe and width.
This allows your toes and the front part of your foot to spread out comfortably, letting them do their job as natural shock absorbers. Essentially your toes and the front of your foot act as protectors against excessive impact to your joints.
Are you have a flat foot or a high arch?
It’s wise to be aware of your foot type when selecting the right shoe. People with flat feet, for example, should be cautious about their shoes’ features because a flat foot, which essentially means a low arch, lacks natural shock absorption.
For this reason, a flat-footed person needs additional support in order to protect certain parts of their body- in particular your ankles, knees and hips.
If you want to get technical about it, a flat footed person “overpronates” when running or doing any high-impact activity.
Overpronation is just a fancy word for the foot rolling inward. The bad thing about overpronation is the increased risk of injury because of excessive stress on the tendons, muscles, and ligaments of the foot.
The flat footed-person should look for shoes with stability features. For severe cases it’s worth looking into shoes with a motion-controlled feature. Essentially, stability and motion-controlled features help prevent the foot from rolling inward. Both are easily accessible on the market today.
On the flip side, a high arched foot (the medical term is “cavus foot”) is excessively impacted by physical activity. In particular, the balls and heels of the feet take a beating.
If you enjoy being active, it’s important to take care of your feet with a quality shoe. If not, you risk experiencing an unexpected injury which may put you out of commission for an extended period of time.
Think about your health before selecting an exercise shoe. You’re making an investment on your health and the ability to enjoy the activity you love.