Perfect Shoe for You

by: Megg Taylor, Stephanie Smith, Jasmine Wood, Skylar Dowdy, Shaje Moore, Rylee Bellmon, and Traviah Matthews

Like there is a variety of activities that you can partake in, there is a variety of equipment needed and believe it or not, your shoe choice is a part of that preparation! Picking the right shoe for the activity you want to do is very important. The activities you choose can have different types of demands on your knees, ankles, and feet. Shoes are made to provide to right amount of support, traction/skid, shock abortion, etc. to help you perform the activity to the best of your ability. Whether the activity is a weightlifting, running, walking, or CrossFit, there is a shoe to recommended for you.

Walking Shoes

Walking shoes are important for most everyone because walking is a necessity to get from place to place. Many people stand on their feet for hours at a time each day with no breaks in between. There are many well-known stores and brands that sell walking shoes such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and ASICS.

When choosing the perfect walking shoe, a few things need to be considered. First, the walking shoe should be flexible in the forefoot area, if it is stiff, it can lead to shin splints. Next, the heel of the shoe should be examined, if it is higher than one inch, the shoe should not be considered a walking shoe. Lastly, the shoe should be placed on the floor to be examined. The toe should be slightly off the ground above the rest of the shoe and if you poke the shoe, it should have some rocking motion to it. Finally, finding the perfect fit for a walking shoe is really key. Find a store associate to help size your foot.

                                                                 Running Shoes                         

If you are a runner you know that your shoes have a huge impact on your lifestyle. Being in the wrong shoe can create more problems than most realize. To find the shoe best for you it is best to know what your foot is like as you run; are you pronating or supinating, do you have a high arch or no arch? To find out how your foot rotates or doesn’t rotate you need to look at the sole of an old pair of running shoes to see the wear pattern on them. If you do not feel sure in yourself looking at this to make the right decision there are running stores that will analyze your foot in person. Once you have determined the rotation of your foot while running/walking you must now figure out what shoe best fits you. This involves going into the store and trying on every pair that will help your foot type. Once you find that pair that is comfortable and supportive it is time to go try them out! Remember if you are a heavy runner you need to get new shoes about every 600 miles. A great way to look online for shoes is to use Runner’s World shoe finder test; you can find the test at, www.runnersworld.com/shoefinder .

Inserts

            When one type of shoe is not ideal for your lifestyle, inserts allow you to have support with more flexibility. After testing, an insert is biomechanically made to fit your needs and body style. For instance, how much volume or impact you use will determine the thickness of your insert. Also, width and arch is measured. Inserts can be used to help correct posture and rebuild your arch.  These variables are important for your exercise routines. These will allow you to ensure you have proper posture to better improve safety precautions.

Convenience is important when it comes to inserts. They allow you to simply pull the inserts out and place them in a different shoe.  This will allow you to keep a variety of shoes.  Though testing is more accurate at stores that specialize in shoe inserts, it is now conveniently in stores like Walmart. Being on your feet constantly can cause extreme pain, inserts allow you to get back to comfort with ease.   

Weightlifting Shoes

            Weightlifting shoes are very unique and evolved since the 1920’s. They have lower tops, a little bit of heel, and a strap across the upper part of the shoe. Weightlifting shoes are specifically designed to provide mobility and stability during lifts. The raise heel and harder sole gives stability while the tops give mobility to the ankles. The straps are located along the top of the metatarsals. Some shoes may have an additional strap across the lower portion of the metatarsals. This allows your foot to stay locked down when pulling the weight and provides comfort.

Feet are the foundation of the body. It is important to have stability mobility in the feet so that the rest of the body can follow. Lifting in the right shoes can provide suitable foot function, great ankle mobility, appropriate hip stability, and proper spine alignment.

When shopping, go to store that has actual weightlifting shoes, if you are new to these shoes, look online or call your favorite shoe store and ask. Personally, I prefer VS Athletics, Adidas, and Rouge. When you go into the store before anything else, get fitted. Even if you have been wearing size 8 shoes all your adult life, get fitted. If you have a shoe that is too big or small; the shoe won’t provide for you. Then try on the shoes and perform some body weight lifting in the store. Ask yourself how they feel, are they snug in all the right places, is the toe box wide or narrow enough, is the metatarsal strap in the right place on your foot? Don’t be afraid to try on as many shoes as you need before you find the right one.

CrossFit Shoes

Picking the right shoe for CrossFit can help you perform exercises better. There is a couple of recommendations when trying to pick the right shoe. When picking a CrossFit shoe, the “drop” of shoe makes a difference. The drop measures the difference between the height of the forefoot and the height of the heel. A walking shoe typically has an 8mm drop to encourage heel-to-toe walking. For CrossFit you typically want to have a 4mm drop to help evenly distribute your weight across your foot. The next recommendation is a hard sole. This makes it easier for you to have stability when doing Olympic lifts. It allows you the ability to feel the floor beneath your feet and stay stable. The third recommendation is to have a durable outer shoe. This allows you the opportunity to perform any of the workouts that are given. For example, it can make it easier for you to do a trail run or a max lift and even a rope climb. A cage around the mid-foot and toes will help reinforce proper alignment during squats. The right CrossFit shoe can help improve your workouts and encourage proper form.

Which shoe is for you?

Hopefully this has given you some incite regarding ways to make your fitness life more comfortable. The goal is to help individuals figure out what best fits them so that their workout patterns are taken into consideration when picking a shoe. With that we hope that you can use this information to help keep your body in better shape starting from the ground up!

 

References

  • Valle, C., (2017, January 19). The Science Behind Weightlifting Shoes – SimpliFaster. Retrieved February 20, 2018, from https://simplifaster.com/articles/science-behind-weightlifting-shoes/
  • Bumgardner, W. (n.d.). What to Look for When You Buying a Pair of Walking Shoes. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://www.verywellfit.com/before-you-buy-walking-shoes-3433020
  • Koch, R. (n.d.). Your Perfect CrossFit Shoe: A quick guide. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://12labourscrossfit.com/blog/article-blog/your-perfect-crossfit-shoe-a-quick-guide

 

Assistant Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies department