The footwear you choose could be impacting you far more than you are already considering, and costing your health! Even for myself, it took me years in to my athletic career to finally figure out which type of shoes were best for me, and how I was damaging my body previously!
Sneakers are fundamental tools in sport since they help to prevent injuries and enhance performance, yet, sometimes they actually do the opposite of this! The wrong type of shoes may seriously endanger you during your different training, and take away from your goal of building a healthy lifestyle.
Footwear should provide good support for your feet, as well as allow you to make the movements necessary in the given-activity. Explore various brands and reviews of them.
Just because the best Nike shoes are the most popular shoe brand in the world, does not mean it will work best and be most comfortable for you. My friend Mike is a strong example. At 6’3, he stands tall with flat feet, requiring additional support. This impacts his brand and style choice.
Effects of Bad Training Footwear Choices
- Tendinitis or inflammation of the Achilles tendon
- Muscle overload
- Muscle strains
- Athlete’s foot
Benefits of Good Footwear Choices
- Help to protect the foot from scratches and abrasions.
- Cushion necessary forces between the ground and the foot, properly. Some activities require large amount of cushion, some very little.
- Reduce the impact of landing on all muscles, joints and tendons.
- It provides a good grip on different floor surfaces, depending on the sport.
The materials used are skin, nylon and plastic; among them there are large differences in ventilation, flexibility and endurance. The material you choose will have a large impact on the ability of your shoe to last you, as well as protect you from injury.
Shoes are often made of nylon-composite mixes, rubber/plastic, and in some cases animal skins. Lighter, more mobile shoes are necessary for most endurance sports, while Olympic weight lifters need grip and stability (some opting for no shoes at all).
The sole can be made of rubber or a similar material, which absorbs impacts and loads during support.
Regardless of material, the shoe needs to have proper adaptability to different movements, so that it does not through off the general movement-chain, and challenge how your body is working.
Choosing the right training equipment can make, or break, your body!
Criteria For Choosing Good Footwear
- It must have a good foot protective effect.
- A good anatomical basis to suit each individual template.
- Good Material for its parts, like the fabric and sole.
- Effective buffer between the foot and the ground, especially the heel and pressure zones, during transition of forces.
- Adapted to the characteristics of each sport.
- Adapt to different floor surfaces depending on the sport.
- Biomechanical design.
Training Footwear Tips
You need to bear in mind that after you run a distance of 300 to 500 miles (or 300 hours of aerobic activity), your footwear will lose a large amount of its cushioning material and needs to be replaced. Some shoes can last longer, but this is the general rule for how long you should train in one particular pair of shoes.
At one point in my life I was forced to change my basketball sneakers every 6 weeks due to the instability of my foot! After my second foot surgery it was necessary for me to make sure my sneakers were not worn down at all while wearing them, and I had to change more frequently than most people should.
Good running footwear should be able to provide you with overall shock absorption for your foot, and also provide you with good heel control. This is necessary in order to prevent heel pain, stress fractures, and shin splints.
When running on softer surfaces such as grass, turf, and sand, many runners are now adopting the practice of running without shoes at all! This can be seen as a sort of “fad” as people began doing it in order to benefit from the natural running position that running without sneakers allows.
While there are many benefits to running without shoes, precautions do need to be taken before attempting this.
If you are running on any form of unstable surface, or where it is possible that something could be stuck directly in to your foot, do not run without shoes on.
It will be a very bad idea.
However, if you are on a soft and clean surface, you certainly can benefit from trying this!
There are a lot of good options for running shoes, I personally choose New Balance shoes myself!
In order to prevent foot fatigue, footwear for aerobic conditioning should be lightweight and provide extra shock absorption for the metatarsal area (it is the most stressed area). Along with the footwear being light and cushioning, it is also important to make sure that the shoes support your arches enough. Undo-arch stress can be dangerous to your metatarsals (as I found out), and needs to be carefully monitored.
With cross trainers, you will be able to perform several sports activities because they combine several features that make them flexible, and save you the stress of choosing that right kind of footwear for you.
Cross training shoes should effectively be stable enough for forms of running, while also lightweight and breathable. Cross training shoes generally have an even amount of cushion, support and flexibility. Similar to runners, many athletes are opting to go shoe-less for other anaerobic and aerobic exercises.
Specifically squats and deadlift without training shoes can allow you to feel more comfortable creating a force between you and the ground, allowing you to lift heavier weights. The drawback to this is that if the natural heel-lift of most shoes is taken away, your ankle flexibility may suffer.
However, this also shoes weak-links in how you have been training your body, and is a useable tool for holding yourself accountable!
The quality of your training and comfort of your footwear greatly contributes to your performance in any sports activity.
I personally needed to go through two foot surgeries before I really understood what I can, and cannot train in.
Following my second surgery I have been far more careful about which types of shoes I will allow myself even to walk in!
After finally finding the right style and feel of training shoe, I have become healthy and pain free in my feet! Following these rules will without-a-doubt help you determine which training shoes are right for you, and keep your feet happy and healthy!