Training footwear, commonly referred to as “sneakers” or “tennis shoes”, play a vital role in all of your fitness endeavors. Not only do you need support, but you also need safety and the right shoe for the right activity. Here are some reasons why you should take the time to select the right training footwear.
Different Types of Shoes
The terms training footwear, sneakers, and tennis shoes are generally all-encompassing terms used to describe shoes that people wear during physical activity. Some of these include:
- Running shoes, which offer built-in shock support for running or jogging and lightweight design for walking.
- Aerobic shoes, which provide you with shock absorption and extra cushion at the ball of the foot.
- Tennis shoes, which have flexible soles to allow for quick movement.
- Basketball shoes, which have high tops and thick soles to protect the ankles and feet when jumping.
- Cross-trainers, which are ideal for individuals who participate in a variety of activities.
Choosing a Training Shoe
Given the information above, the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends choosing a shoe based on the types of activities you participate in most often. For instance, if you play basketball three days a week, you need a basketball shoe. Conversely, if you run a couple of days a week but participate in aerobics, a cross-trainer might be better suited for your needs. Make sure to try your shoes on in the afternoon or evening after your workout when your feet are largest, and make sure to wear your usual sports socks so you get the right fit.
Benefits of the Right Shoes
Many of the most common activities and sports can cause significant injuries over time. When you wear the right shoes, you not only lessen the strain of the impact, but you can also protect your ankles and the balls of your feet from heavy landings. Certain shoes may even enhance your performance during certain activities, too. For instance, if you play tennis, the flexible soles of tennis shoes can enable you to move your feet more quickly so that you can return the ball more accurately.
When to Replace Your Training Footwear
You need to replace even the highest quality footwear from time to time. When your shoes wear out, they no longer give you the protection and performance benefit you need. You should always judge wear by the appearance of the mid-sole of your shoe. This area will show damage and wear before any other area, and when it starts to show significant signs of wear, it is time to replace your shoes. You should replace running shoes, for instance, after every 500 miles or whenever the midsoles start to show significant wear. Simply inspecting the treads of your shoes is not a good indicator of wear.
Choosing the proper training footwear not only provides you with additional comfort, but it can protect you from injury and even enhance the way you perform your activities. It is important to choose the right shoe for the activity and be sure to replace your shoes when they begin to wear, as they no longer protect you.