Call them sneakers, trainers or athletic shoes, sizing up the embarrassment of rubber-soled riches on offer these days can be a daunting task. Experts say the right footwear can make or break your workout, but money will not necessarily buy insole happiness, nor will following the foot traffic to the latest, trendiest model.
If the shoe fits: Right size and cushioning are important
“Your shoes are, from the safety and comfort standpoint, the most important thing about your fitness,” says Kevin Burns of the American Council on Exercise. But not all shoes fit all feet. “Newer shoes get most of marketing but may not be appropriate for you,” he says. “If you’ve got a high arch you’ll tend to require more shock absorption.” To find a shoe that suits your activities, fitness level and buying options, Burns says, try asking your personal trainer or exercise instructor for advice.
Robert Yang, a sports performance coach based in California, US, believes most people still wear shoes that force their toes together, and many wear shoes too big for them. He says shoes should conform to the exact size of the foot.
To test shock absorption, place one thumb inside the heel, the other outside and push. “Impact-based exercises need more cushioning,” Burns says.
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