Find Your Sole Mate: The Perfect Shoe for Every Workout

38KSHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/14/2014 6:00 AM   :  49 comments   :  287,496 Views

Wearing the right shoes while exercising can mean the difference between a comfortable workout, and one filled with pain, or worse-injury. With thousands of workout shoes on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? By answering a few simple questions, you can narrow down your options and use this guide to find the pair that is your "solemate."

Start by choosing your primary activity from the list below:
 
Running
Walking or hiking
Aerobics and other cardio workouts including team sports
Cycling
Weightlifting
 

Running

While it can be tempting to shop for the biggest bargain at your local department store, investing in a quality running shoe is money well spent. Wearing poor quality shoes that don’t fit your unique anatomy and training goals results in problems. A good running shoe will offer the right amount of cushion, flexibility and breathability, but what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. In order to determine the right running shoe, it helps to know a little bit about your foot type (low, normal or high arch) as well as your pronation (how much the foot rolls in or out when it makes contact with the ground.) Most specialty running stores offer a free analysis of your foot and gait to find the best shoe for you. 

Be sure to "Pin" this graphic for future reference.
Results: 

Walking/Hiking

Purchasing a quality walking shoe is a smart investment if walking is a primary mode of exercise for you. Although some running shoes can be used for walking, the inverse isn't usually true. Walking shoes are more flexible through the ball of the foot to allow a greater range of motion through the roll of the forefoot. They also have greater arch support to protect where the force is heaviest on the foot. The type of walking shoe you need will depend on a number of factors, including your foot and the typical walking terrain.

Be sure to "Pin" this graphic for future reference.

Aerobics/Cross-Training/Team Sports

Cross-trainers or aerobic shoes are suitable for a wide variety of activities other than walking or running. They are also an option if you participate in many different kinds of activities without a primary mode of exercise dominating your workout schedule. In this case, cross-trainers might be better (and less expensive) than buying a number of activity-specific shoes. Cross-trainers tend to have a wider outsole, lateral support all over (for activities that take place in directions other than forward motion) and additional support for the heels and legs. Lateral support is important for the side-to-side motion of activities like aerobics classes and certain sports.  

If you do participate frequently in a specific sport like basketball or tennis, it's worth investing in a shoe designed for the sport and the surface you'll be playing on. You can even find shoes for aquatic activities like water aerobics that help increase the force of buoyancy in the water and also help protect the foot from minor cuts and scrapes.

Be sure to "Pin" this graphic for future reference.
Results:

Cycling

Cycling shoes have a stiffer sole that gives extra support and efficient energy transfer as you pedal away. They also protect your feet while riding and can help prevent foot cramping and fatigue more effectively than a traditional shoe. The type of bike pedal you have will also determine the kind of shoe needed. For example, platform pedals don't require a special type of footwear, but clipless pedals require special shoes which have a cleat fitted into the sole.

Be sure to "Pin" this graphic for future reference.
Results:
 

Weightlifting

Weightlifting can encompass a wide variety of workouts, from a strength training video at home to a CrossFit class that incorporates Olympic powerlifting and plyometrics. The type of workouts you do will determine which kind of shoe is best.  

Be sure to "Pin" this graphic for future reference.
Results:

In general, if you are participating in an activity more than a few times each week, it’s a good idea to buy a shoe designed specifically for it. It can be tempting to buy the first pair of shoes you find on sale, but many times, you get what you pay for. Poor-quality shoes can lead to poor-quality results (and injury), so do your homework before deciding which shoe is right for you. Your body will thank you for it.


Sources:
Buzzle, "Cross Training Shoes vs Running Shoes," www.buzzle.com, accessed on February 4, 2014
 
Campmor, "Hiking Shoes vs. Hiking Boots," www.campmor.com, accessed on February 4, 2014
 
ExRx, "Weightlifting Shoes 101," www.exrx.net, accessed on February 4, 2014
 
Ezine Articles, "How to Choose the Right Type of Bike Pedal," ezinearticles.com, accessed on February 4, 2014.
 
REI, "Bike Shoes: How to Choose," www.rei.com, accessed on February 4, 2014
 
Skinny Mom, "How to Choose the Best Weight Lifting Shoes," www.skinymom.com, accessed on February 4, 2014
 
Swim Team Suits, "What to Look for in Water Aerobics Shoes," swimlaneropeblog.wordpress.com, accessed on February 4, 2014


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!
38KSHARES
NEXT ENTRY >   Introducing SparkPeople 'Friend Feed' Enhancements

Comments

Please Log In To Leave A Comment:    Log in now ›

 

x Lose 10 Pounds by October 13! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.