Picking the right exercise shoes and where to begin
When it comes to choosing a pair of shoes, regardless if it is for running, cycling, tennis, football, rugby or any other physical activity, the vastness of options can be overwhelming at times. Which is great, because it means that there are so many options available. However, it may also make it longer and more difficult to find a perfect pair that suits your feet. Here we will discuss several key areas to consider when it comes to choosing a suitable pair and link it to a specific physical activity.
It’s recommended to buy exercise shoes at the end of the day because then your feet are the biggest and flattest. When trying the shoes on, ensure that they fit you well and feel comfortable on your feet. You should have enough space to wiggle all your toes and your heel should feel supported.
After putting them on take several steps around the shop or try a little jog if there is space. This will allow you to assess if your feet have enough space to move about in the shoe, at the same time as being well supported.
When trying new shoes, try to wear the same or similar socks to those which you will be wearing during your physical activity, because if you will buy a shoe while wearing a thin sock or no sock at all, it will feel totally different if you will put on a thicker sock and vice versa. This may cause a significant discomfort.
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Benefits of well fitted shoes:
Your feet will feel comfortable and well supported. Having enough space for your toes will prevent the nail ingrowth which can be very uncomfortable and disabling. Well fitted and supportive shoes will reduce the chance of you tripping over and rolling your ankle. This can resulting in you not being able to enjoy your favourite physical activity for a significant amount of time.
Implications when wearing wrong exercise shoes:
Probably the most common injury to your foot due to poorly fitted shoes are blisters. They can be extremely annoying and affect your performance. It may also predispose you to ankle sprain injuries as poor fit might alter your feel of the surface beneath your feet. Because all of our walking biomechanics begin with the planting of the foot, poorly fitted exercise shoes may alter the walking or running biomechanics predisposing the development of knee, hip and lower back pain.
Activity specific properties:
Pay attention to ankle collar, which is the height of the shoe around your ankle, toe space, flexibility and cushioning. The combination of these aspects play an important role in overall running experience and performance. Well fitted ankle collar and sufficient toe space will reduce chances of blisters. Flexibility and cushioning will allow smooth movement of your foot in the shoes and help with shock absorption respectively reducing pressure from your knees and lower back.
Football and rugby boots:
Fit, studs and material are probably the fundamentals when buying football boots. It should fit your feet perfectly because any alteration might have an impact on your ball control. Similar principle applied to material. The go to option for many years have been leather because you have a better foot to ball interaction. However, with many synthetic options available now, you might find that something different suits you better.
Surface is the key aspect when choosing the studs. If you are playing on a wet pitch, you might want to use 6 studs. Whereas if you are playing on something dry, or a 4G Astroturf, you might consider having blades. When it comes to rugby boots, it is recommended to have them slightly wider at the toes with more studs to adapt to different ball and allow for better grip. The choice of the studs also very much depend on the surface you will be playing on.
Three things to pay attention to when buying cycling shoes are cleat compatibility, type of shoe fastening and ventilation. You must ensure that cleats are compatible with your pedals, otherwise you might end up having many troubles. There are few options available when it comes to fastening of the shoe. No one is better than the other, the choice totally depends on your preference. Having your feet ventilated is very important particularly if you spend long hours on your bike because if will help to keep your skin healthy and prevent blistering.
When buying your tennis shoes, you should consider the outsole, grip and your playing style. Outsole is in the middle of the outside of the foot. Choosing the right outsole as well as the correct shoe sole will depend on the surface you are playing on. If you will buy exercise shoes designed to play on grass but go on and ply on clay, your experience and performance might suffer and you may also predispose yourself to an injury similar to the one when you are involved in a truck accident in Wilmington. Playing style is important when deciding how heavy or light and stable you want your shoes. If you like to run all over the court and stay light on your feet, you might prefer the lighter option. If you like to stay at the baseline and hit the balls hard, you might consider heavier, more protective option.
If you’re used to wearing the same shoes from the same manufacturer and you know that they always fit you well, you might order them online.
However, if you decided that you want to change the manufacturer and the shoe type, we strongly recommend to buy the shoes from the shop. This will allow you to try them on to ensure that they fit you well. This might save you the hassle of sending them back and re-ordering in case the new pair does not feel as comfortable as you anticipated. It will also allow you to ask questions of the shop assistant if you have any specifics you will want to know which may not be mentioned on a webpage.
We are always happy to help.