Image via Flickr creative commons from eRizer6
If you’re getting into exercising for the first time, or are perhaps just looking to start taking exercise more seriously, then one of the first investments you’ll need to make is in a decent pair of shoes. Cheap trainers are fine for messing around in or wearing around the house, but when it comes to a proper exercise session you want to make sure that your footwear is up to the task.
What make to go for?
There are a number of well-known brands on the market that everyone has heard of, with Nike trainers from OFFICE and Adidas shoes being two of the most popular forms of footwear among athletes. Making a choice based on brand alone is fine when you’re making a purchase that is purely driven by fashion considerations, but remember that buying work-out shoes is about finding a pair that are comfy, offer the right support and will protect your feet. The features of the shoe are far more important in this case than the name on the side.
Remember – you are unique
For good or ill, the truth is that there is no one else out there quite like you. Your feet are unique which means that you can’t really take trainer recommendations from friends, only experts. Everything from the shape of your feet to your weight, the way you run and the surfaces that you choose to exercise on will affect the choice of trainer that’s right for you.
Take account of your foot shape when you go to buy trainers. You will either have a normal foot which has a slight flare thanks to a normal-sized arch, a flat foot which has a low arch and will roll inwards considerably when it lands on a surface, or a high-arched foot which does not pronate, or roll on contact with the floor, as much as it should. Trainers come in various shapes and sizes and some will suit people with a certain foot shape better than others. Finding a knowledgeable member of staff who can take you through the available options is always best.
Making sure that your feet are able to breathe properly when you’re working out is essential. If you are going to be running in your trainers, keeping your feet cool and comfortable has to be a top priority.
Don’t start thinking that you’ll need to ‘break in’ a pair of running shoes. While this was once true, new technologies and manufacturing processes mean this is now simply another myth. Trainers are designed to be comfortable from the start and so if you try on a pair in the shop and they don’t feel right, move on and keep looking. You want to find shoes that are tight enough to provide the necessary support and prevent your foot from slipping and developing blisters, but not so tight they damage the foot. Make sure there is a thumb’s width of space at the front of the shoe.
Think about your activity
Considering what type of activity you are generally going to be undertaking is important before you make a firm decision, as different shoes will perform to a particular level depending on the sport. For example, if you’re looking to invest in a tennis shoe then you’ll want something that offers good support for lateral movement, is lightweight and non-marking if you’re going to be using an indoor court. If you’re buying a shoe that will be predominantly used for running, stability and cushioning are going to be the most important aspects to bear in mind.