Fitness

Choosing and maintaining training shoes

A well-rounded fitness program involves proper selection of training gear. It is impossible to derive maximum benefits from exercises without appropriate workout clothing. This prevents the body from achieving maximum comfort thereby affecting its activity level negatively. As part of workout clothing, shoes are fundamental for protection, stability, extra-support, and balance. However, all these benefits can be lost if mistakes are made in the selection process. Here are simple tips for choosing and maintaining workout shoes.

Consider the activity: From running, to cycling, walking, weight-lifting, stair-climbing, and games, there are shoes that work best for different types of cardio and strength fitness programs. Whereas some exercises blend well with ultralight shoes, there are others that flow smoothly with excessive cushioning. The nature of your activity should guide your decisions when looking at factors such as arch support, fit, ankle support (uppers), outer soles, and insoles.  For example, running shoes come in different styles and designs. The common ones include; motion control, minimalist, stability, and motion control running shoes. Most of them are characterized by lightweight features, and significantly reduced extra components.

Focus on your feet: Know the size of your feet and if possible buy your shoes in a physical store for sizing reasons. Sizing allows you to focus on factors such as arch height, ankle support, and heel contour. You do not want to buy a shoe that reduces over-pronation while your problem is under-pronation. Be extra careful if you have had a history of injury. Depending on the nature of your past injury, you might need shoes with extra cushioning at the front, middle, or heel section.

Arch support: There are three types of foot arches that include; low, medium, and high arches. Low arches are also known as flat feet. These are feet that sit flat on the ground and thus have low or no arch definition. Since people with flat feet tend to over-pronate, they requires shoes with stiffer inner heel section. Insoles with medial rear-foot posting also help with improved feet alignment. Individual with medium or normal feet have a slightly defined arch. It does not sit flat on the ground or extend too high above the ground.  They require shoes that are properly cushioned and have the ability to absorb shock. Lastly, individuals with high arches have feet that sit on the ground with the middle section appearing as significantly raised. This makes their feet extremely rigid and prone to supination. They require shoes that provide extra-cushioning and alignment.

Maintenance comes in handy after acquiring the right pair of shoes. Problems will still occur if you buy the right shoes and fail at the maintenance stage. It is important to keep training shoes clean, dry, and free from bad odor. Wash your shoes when need be and allow them to dry completely. If possible, own several pairs for interchanging. If you have sweaty feet, use products such as sneaker balls, foot sprays, and electric shoe dryers to eliminate order and bacterial agents. Lastly, always wipe your feet dry before putting on your shoes. Moisture provides a conducive environment for micro-organisms that combine with sweat to produce bad smell.

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