Health & Fitness

How to Choose the Right Shoes for Exercise (It’s Not About Fashion)

How to choose the right shoes

The human body is a beautiful piece of engineering that is evolved to lots of intricate and complex movements well. However it takes a lot of hard work, exercise and training to keep our bodies in peak condition. You need to know how to choose the right shoes for the right time.

As fitness buffs or athletes, this exercise can take many different forms, which require different types of movements, from running to jumping and twisting, lifting weights or climbing rocks or mountains. Each of these actions require different mechanics and put strains on various parts of our bodies.

One of the most important ways to protect our bodies from what we put them through is proper footwear for the task. Shoes are tools. And just like tools, it’s important to know choose the right shoes, and have the right tool for the job.

Here are a few tips to pick the right shoes for your physical needs and activities:

Don’t sacrifice your body for style.

We don’t always live our whole life wearing specialised athletic shoes. Styles change from era to era, however people, especially women, do horrible things to their feet and bodies with shoes for the sake of fashion.

For example, until very recently, in China small feet in china were greatly revered and women, so women were hobbled by the practice of foot binding, to purposefully deform the feet. Now women damage their bodies with the evils of high heels, in an attempted to look beautiful and feminine. A majority of women vigorously complain about the pain of high heels, however wear them anyway.

They do not realise that wearing them often can do permanent damage to their bodies. It’s simply not worth it. Avoid pointy toed shoes and high heels whenever you can. The same goes for men.

Pointy toed dress shoes or cowboy boots worn just for style are bad for your body.

Buy shoes that fit.

We are lucky to live in an era where there are hundreds of styles of athletic shoes, with a great variety of fits. Try on lots of shoes and no matter how cool you think a pair looks, don’t buy them if they are too big, small, wide or narrow. It will affect the mechanics of your gate.

Buy the right shoe for the activity you will be doing.

For example, running shoes feel great, however they are for running. Their design is meant to keep your going forward. Start playing basketball or a sport with quick side to side movements and you will damage the sides of the shoes or sprain an ankle. Go long distance running in pair of basketball high tops and your will end up as a cramped up mess.

If you want a comfortable pair of athletic shoes for multiple purposes, get a pair of cross trainers, which compromise in their design to accommodate various kinds of movements. If you like to hike, get hiking shoes or boots. They are made of more durable materials and have sole designs to prevent slipping.

Invest in quality name brand shoes.

Athletic shoes are one of the best examples of the saying, “You get what you pay for.” The major shoe companies have put in years of scientific research and development to perfect and evolve the designs of their shoes. They test them and get feedback from the world’s best athletes.

Cheap knock-offs may look similar, however they will not perform as well. Good shoes can be expensive, however one good pair is worth more than 10 pairs that you hate, that sit unused in your closet. If you are looking for some deals, to make good shoes more affordable, check out online sites.

Try training in different shoes.

They are minimalist shoes with individual toe pockets. Some people refer to them as “barefoot” shoes, because they are like being barefoot, however if you had super-human impenetrable skin. They are feather light, form fitting however will protect your feet from cuts and scrapes.

Do not expect support or padding from these shoes, in fact, that is missing the point. These shoes help you run and move in the way the human body mechanically evolved. Wearing them will develop muscles in your feet, shins and calves that you didn’t even realise you had. You will suddenly learn why we have toes and how they help us move and give us balance.

One of the few problems is that going back to “regular” shoes, may feel as if someone has taped your toes together as some cruel joke, because you will miss being able to use them how they should be used. Research these shoes before you go all-out running in them.

Because they don’t have the padding of other shoes, if you running or jogging with bad technique, you could end up with a stress fracture. Run right and you will begin to feel like a nimble cheetah.

If you know how to choose the right shoes, and find the absolutely perfect shoes, buy at least two pairs. Great shoes are worth their weight in gold. It will break your heart if that brand discontinued that model of shoe and your first pair wears out.

Remember that our feet are like the foundation of our bodies. Their health and well being affect every body part above. Take care of them well and they will take care of you.

Adam Lee

About the Author

Hello, I'm Adam. A huge fan of conscious hip hop and skateboarding.