Shoes come in a variety of types and sizes, but are you wearing the right shoe geared towards your type of workout?
Walking Shoes: Walking shoes tend to be heavier and stiffer than running shoes; therefore when you are choosing a walking shoe, you want a shoe that has enough support, cushion, and flexibility. It is also important to look at the traction aspect of the shoe if you are planning on hiking. A good walking shoe for women is the New Balance WW1765 and for men is the New Balance MW 759.
Running shoes: When you are looking for the runnin g shoe you want to make sure that you have a perfect amount of cushion. Running shoes are made to handle the shock of two times your body weight. Therefore when picking a running shoe, you want to make sure it has great cushioning in both the heel and forefoot. Other important aspects of a running shoe you should look for are flexibility, stability control, traction on roads or trails, and breath-ability. It’s important to take a look at your foot before you buy a shoe. Our feet are all different, but can be divided into three categories: low, high and medium arches. These different arches will make a difference in the type of shoe you should buy. A good example for a person with low arches would be the Asics Gel Kayano 222. A good buy for an individual with high arches is the Asics Gel- Kinsei 6 and one for medium arches is ASICS 2000.
Cross-training: A cross-training shoe might be for you if you occasionally participate in a variety of exercises from tennis to basketball to some weight-lifting. Cross training shoes are not used to running miles, but more for individuals who participate in different athletic activities. A good cross-trainer should have a firm heel, good support, and should be light weight. An example of a popular cross-trainer is the Puma Tazon.
Specialty: Specialty shoes are used for specific activities. There are specific sneakers, cleats for individuals who participate in weight-lifting, cycling, tennis, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, etc. Just make sure when you are picking out one of these shoes that you are purchasing the correct shoe/cleat for that specific sport.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle shoes might look cool and trendy however they are not meant for exercise. Do not try wearing Vans or Nike Janoskis to the gym or to participate in a sport because you are putting yourself at risk for injury.
Trying to find the right shoe for your desired exercise routine is important so take the time to weigh out your options in order to make those feet happy! Remember, your foot size can change or swell throughout the day, be consistent with the time that you are shopping; your feet tend to be larger throughout the day.
By Sally Leahy