How to Look Past the Branding to Choose the Right Sports Shoe
Fitness is a key priority for many people. The shoe industry recognises this opportunity and has invested sizeable sums to create specialist footwear. Many of the most recognisable brands in the industry are fighting for your dollar, and these companies have also invested large budgets in creating their marketing vehicles. If you are looking for a new pair of sports shoes for your upcoming activity, what do you need to look at, beyond the glittering imagery?
How to Choose Correctly
Shoe manufacturers have developed a sizeable range of footwear each type designed for specific types of sport. If you're just buying for casual wear, it won't make that much of a difference, but you should certainly pay attention if you have a very precise activity planned. You wouldn't want, for example, to get a cross-country shoe for playing netball or tennis. In this case, you'd need a cross-trainer that gives you lateral movement and that is designed for slippage. Cross-country trails require a very different type of tread pattern, with a stronger shoe that has to deal with constantly changing surfaces.
Looks Aren't Everything
Certainly, the manufacturers still invest heavily in making the shoe "pretty." Don't fall into the trap, however, and always make sure that the shoe that you purchase is functionally correct first.
How to Test Shoes
When you're trying a pair of sports shoes on, the first test you should perform is to go up on your toes and see how you feel. Ideally, you won't be restricted in any way, and many experts suggest that the best pair of shoes will actually make you feel as if you aren't wearing any.
Are these shoes trying to correct your stance at all? The wrong pair could try and rotate your legs and feet inward, or conversely try to push them apart and outward. You should feel as if you are balanced on the side of your foot, instead.
Shoes should never feel too lose or too tight. In particular, they shouldn't pinch your toes, but they should represent a first-class fit all around. Remember that some shoes will be heavier than others, but you shouldn't feel as if you are restricted in any way due to the configuration of the shoe on your foot.
Lastly, look to see if the heel is just slightly higher than the toe, but not too much. A very small difference in height is acceptable.
Getting Expert Advice
You may have big ambitions for your newly chosen sport, so it may be a good idea for you to contact a specialist podiatrist, who will help you choose the right pair.