How Different Shoes Can Impact Your Workout
Tennis shoes are being shown off as fashion statements, especially on social media. While having some really cute or cool shoes can be great for your personal style, making sure you invest in the correct pair for you workout sessions is extremely important.
The first thing you need to understand is that running shoes are made for running, lifting shoes are made for lifting, cross-training shoes are made for those who perform different style of exercise casually, basketball shoes are made for basketball, golfing shoes are made for golfing, and so on. This is not a scam, this is for safety of those wearing the shoes and effectiveness of the exercise taking place.
Take a look at different shoe styles- running shoes look different from lifting shoes, and there is a reason for that. Running shoes are made to support your feet and gait cycle while running in a forward motion. There is no support or stability for lateral movement. The reason you’ll want that lateral support if you were planning on say, cross-training that day, is because the rounded edges of a cross-training shoe can allow you to train in all motions, not just front and back. Imagine you’re doing ladder drills, and you’re doing a side shuffle. With the curved edges you have the ability to roll towards the side of you foot, the ability to land on the outer edge of your big toe and continue to roll onto the ball of your foot. This allows you to use and train your entire foot for support and motion. If you were wearing running shoes you would be at a much higher risk of twisting an ankle because the sharp edge would not allow you full range of motion for your foot.
One way to make sure you are getting the right shoe for your type of exercise is to go to a speciality fitness shoe store, somewhere where they measure not only the length of your foot but the width and your arch length and height as well. These stores will also measure your gait, which means they’ll watch you run and walk on a treadmill or outside. By doing this they can see your gait pattern, and whether or not your have too much pronation or supination in the way you walk… maybe you’re pigeon toed or knock-kneed, maybe you’re a heel-striker, or run on your toes- all of this information will help the sales associate, who is trained to know which shoe is best for what, find the correct shoe for you.
While style has come a huge way in training shoes, the most important things to look for are comfort and the shoe that will help you train to your highest ability. Be specific with the person who is helping you- so you’re there for a running shoe, but are you a long distance runner, a trail runner, a sprinter? Each type of shoe also has sub categories- so don’t be afraid to try on tons of different types to make sure you have found the right shoe for EVERY type of training you do!
Alright, so you’ve found your perfect shoe- no what? Well, depending on how often you train, you may need to replace your shoe after 6 month to a year! When wearing “dead” shoes you can experience pain and aches in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. Wearing dead shoes can even cause you to perform your exercises incorrectly leading to pain, discomfort, and even injury.
Here are some of my favorite shoes for different types of training:
There are a ton of really nice lifting shoes out there (check out reebok for some more cool options), but Converse All-Stars are a favorite for me. You need a solid and flat sole, something that doesn’t disperse the pressure of your foot when you push through your heel to the floor- like when you squat.
New Balance 711
These mesh cross-training shoes provide cushion, comfort, and stability that carry from sprints to circuit training to boot camp, to lifting.
Saucony Ride 9s
This Saucony is a neutral running shoe, also known as the “bread and butter” or the running world. These are great for both track and road running, and are light weight and cushioned enough to wear for mid length runs (around 10k).
Now these are just my personal favorites, what works for me might not work for you. So go on, get to your nearest speciality shoe store and find your perfect match.