Americans are well aware of the endless benefits of daily exercise for the mind and body, as it’s been preached for years. So like many, you’ve hopped on the exercise bandwagon and have been active in the gym and outside. You grab your shoes, lace up, and head out the door. It doesn’t matter what workout you’re doing- one shoe fits all, right? Well, not quite.
Your feet work hard every day carrying you through your daily tasks of walking, cleaning, standing, working and exercising. Because your feet are at the root of everything you do, it only makes sense to care for them accordingly. When you neglect the roots you stand on, you’re going to deal with the swelling, blisters, injuries and the lasting discomfort that goes along with it (what a fitness buzz kill!).
With so many different kinds of shoes on the market, it’s hard to distinguish what’s cool-looking versus what’s going to really support your body for your workout. Depending on the exercise you’re doing, it’s crucial that you are choosing a shoe that’s going to help make the best of your workout while helping to prevent injury.
Below, I break down the best type of shoe to support specific exercises.
If you’re: Running
Wear: a run specific type of shoe
Why: When it comes to running, there is no one “best” shoe. Every runner has a different foot and running style and their shoe should be tailored to fit each specific need. Some need more sportive shoes with stronger arch support, while others may need something completely different. Take the time to head to a specialty running store such as Endurance house or Fleet Feet where a professional can watch you run and determine the right shoe for you.
If you’re: Cross Training or in the studio
Wear: training shoes
Why: Cross training shoes are built for versatility. Weather you’re attending your favorite group fitness class or walking on the treadmill, these shoes are meant to be supportive and durable. Depending on your personal preference, cross trainers can have minimal to moderate cushioning with wider bottoms to handle the variety of surfaces. These shoes are also ideal for your time spent on cardio machines, short sprint intervals and some strength training.
If you’re: Strength Training
Wear: strength training or lifting shoes
Why: The key aspect of strength training shoes lies in the heel. Typical lifting shoes should have minimal cushioning, making them non-compressible. They should be supportive, but with little to no heel. You are able to maintain the most traction and stability with a flat shoe, which allows for more mobility with heavy lifts. Many lifters recommend the classic Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, as they are sturdy shoes that can lace tightly to your foot.
No matter what kind of movement you’re doing, it’s crucial that you are finding the best shoes that support your body’s needs. Try to avoid purchasing shoes based only on color and style and consider what activity the shoe will be used for. Taking the time to find what shoe works best with your type of exercise will not only help decrease injuries, it also helps reduce any pain in the body from absorbing all of your bodies activities. The next time you go to workout, take a moment to stop and think about the type of shoes you are using to ensure they are properly supporting your body’s needs.
~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit. ~