The picture above shows all the different types of shoes I exercise in. My wife calls me a diva because I have so many shoes, each for a different purpose. I have a pair of running shoes for when I run on the street, a pair of trail shoes for when I run the trails, a pair of cross training shoes for general exercise…you get the idea. Each shoe you see here was designed with a specific exercise in mind – running, basketball, cross training, weight lifting, etc.
The reason I have so many shoes is because I learned very early on that the right shoes are important. When I first decided to try and start running, I went running in an old pair of basketball sneakers I had. Within a couple of weeks of running, my knee hurt so bad I swore I had torn an ACL (I hadn’t. Just inflamed). Last year, when I was trying to get my friends to come running with me, one of them showed up in basketball shoes, and within the first quarter mile his feet were killing him. In both cases, it’s because basketball shoes simply aren’t designed for endurance distance running.
So how do you pick the right pair of shoes? Here are 3 things to consider:
- What type of training program are you undertaking? If you’re training for your first 5k, you’ll want to invest in a good pair of running shoes. If you’re going to be focused on a walking program, then a good pair of walking shoes is in order. If you’re going to be doing some cross training (like HIIT, weight training, etc.) then a pair of cross trainers may be best for you.
- What type of foot do you have? The simplest thing to do is take the wet test. This can help you determine the arch of your foot, and can guide you to select the correct cushioning and stability features in a shoe.
- Make sure it fits. This might sound like common sense, but I know I’ve talked myself into a pair of shoes that didn’t quite fit the way I wanted because they were a good price or the style I wanted – and I later regretted it. Make sure when you go for a fitting that you bring the socks you’ll most likely be wearing when training so you know exactly how the shoes feels.
Getting the right shoes is a worthwhile investment when exercising, so choose the right pair for you.