Health is wealth! We are often motivated by this phrase; running to a sports store that very moment and blowing away money on a cool and fancy looking pair of shoes, determined to kick start the next day engaging in activities related to walking, running or hitting the gym. Someone wise once said, “Looks DO NOT matter” (Of course IT DOES); but it is vital to buy a pair of shoes having the right characteristic features depending on the activity which you will be involving yourself most in. This is most essential to avoid foot and ankle injuries, bunions and corns, to aid you in your process of staying fit and most importantly, to avoid discomfort while working out.
Here are a few vital tips, along with activity specific characteristics of shoes, to help you choose the right ‘sole’-mate for your sole.
1. It is best to purchase your shoes either in the afternoon or evening as your feet are largest at that time of the day.
2. Try the shoes on with sports socks, while standing, for a good fit.
3. Ensure that there is an half inch gap between your big toe and the tip of the shoe and that you are able to wiggle your toes freely.
4. Walk or jog around in the store to test if your shoes support your feet appropriately.
5. Bend the shoes to check for over flexibility.
Activity specific characteristics…
These shoes are light and flexible while having additional cushioning to absorb shock when your foot hits the ground. They are designed for forward motion, hence cannot be used for sports activities like cricket or basketball, which involve lateral movement as well.
These shoes are designed to be stiffer and heavier to provide more support and stability to the feet, as the foot rolls slowly from heel to toe unlike running.
These shoes are designed with much more traction for running on grass, mud or trails.
These shoes are designed to give more support for changes in any direction and impact. They are functional and economical athletic shoes for people who have versatile workouts (the treadmill, light jogging, etc.) or play various sports. They are heavier and less cushioned than running shoes and are not recommended if you are an active runner alone.
Specialty shoes are sport specific shoes. These are recommended if you are involved in activities like weight lifting, cycling, tennis, hiking, basketball or soccer several days a week.
Choose the right kind of shoes and remember to change them every 4 to 6 months, depending on its wear and tear. Happy workouts with your ‘sole’-mate!!