If you have an active lifestyle and if you are into workouts of any kind, be it running, jogging, walking, aerobics, basketball etc., you must always select the right shoes for your workout. You need to remember that there is no such thing as ‘one universal pair of shoes for all activities’. Almost everyone is plagued with a common story – wrong pair of workout shoes. Avoid this! How? That’s what we intend to discuss here.
Anything goes: Absolutely NO! Don’t put yourself in harm’s way. The pair of shoes you select for your workout should conform to your anatomy and most important of all, the pair of shoes must give your feet proper support for the different movement types. For instance, running shoes will give you forward thrust but cannot work well on a basketball court because it is not designed to deal with directional movements of your feet during the game.
Let us go a little scientific. Shall we? Well, when running, you don’t make any lateral moves. All you do is move forward. So, running shoes will not have any kind of lateral support that is very important for basketball players.
Can you use a pair of running shoes for walking? It is all about moving forward and no lateral support, right? WRONG! When you run, you land on your forefoot and when you walk, your heel takes your weight. Running shoes are not meant to give you right kind of heel support!
Moral of the story: Talk to a podiatrist and find out what type of shoes works best for your workout style.
Cross-trainer? Cross-trainer shoes are those that are designed to deal with a few types of exercise like walking on asphalt, zero-displacement running on treadmills, light jogging etc. They are lightweight, can give ample support (i.e. the shoes bend pretty easily) and they have firm heels. But again, they are not all-in-one shoes.
Shoe types for different activities:
Running: Must cushion your forefoot, give you forward thrust and must be lightweight.
Walking: Must support your heel. The shoes must have a firm heel. They must be slightly stiffer than your running shoes.
Trailing: The shoes must give traction in different terrain conditions like – mud, grass, dust, elevation etc.
Sport: Sport like basketball, football etc. require shoes that can give you lateral support, i.e. they must give support even when you move sideways.
Your feet anatomy matters:
You can have any of the following feet characteristics – flat foot, high arches and normal. You can do a little bit of research on them to find out what they do when you walk or run. The pair of workout shoes you buy should also be designed to fit well with your feet anatomy. A person with flat foot will have different running shoes than one with high arches. Again, your podiatrist can help you determine your feet anatomy.