“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe
Ok, so Marilyn probably wasn’t talking Cross-trainers about a pair of performance crosstrainers… but the concept still holds true. And not just for women. The right pair of shoes can make all of the difference in your athletic performance and the way your body feels during and post workout. Here are some tips from the experts on how to choose the right shoes for you.
If running or walking is your thing, running shoes are the way to go. They’re designed specifically for forward, heel-to-toe movement. They also tend to be better than “walking shoes” because they are built to take more of a beating, so they’ll last longer. They also cater to a larger range of foot types.
If you like to run on trails, these are the shoes for you. They tend to be a little heavier because they have thicker soles designed to protect your feet from the rocks and uneven surfaces you encounter on the trail. They also tend to have more aggressive tread to prevent slipping on steep inclines and on loose ground.
Is kick boxing your thing? Maybe you like to hit up a Zumba class from time to time? Any routine that includes side-to-side movement on a hard surface is just begging for cross- trainers. If your workouts are “eclectic,” they’ll take good care of you.
Q & A
What’s Up with Those Funky Shoes That Look Like Gloves for Feet?
They are designed to give runners a “barefoot” experience. The concept is borrowed from indigenous peoples who don’t have the luxury of this season’s Adidas. The idea is that by allowing your foot to move more freely and connect with the ground more naturally, your foot muscles will be strengthened and your balance will improve. However, most of us grew up in shoes. Our feet aren’t used to taking that kind of beating, and if you’re not careful, these “barely-there” shoes can lead to arthritis and even stress fractures. If you want to give them a try, do yourself the favor of easing into it. Wear them around the house. Go for a walk. Then, slowly work your way up to more intense activities over time. But always pay attention to what your feet are telling you.
What about sweaty feet and blisters?
For these particular issues, you should look into better socks. Time to kiss your trusty white cottons goodbye. When you’re out sock shopping, you’re gonna want to look at seams, fit, and fabric (Don’t worry about cushion). The fewer seams there are in a sock, the less likely they are to cause chafing and irritation. Avoid “sloppy socks” by looking for a sock that comes in a range of sizes (like s-xl) instead of the one-size-fits-all “sizes 6-12” variety. The tighter fit will prevent blister causing friction. Finally, reach for wool or synthetic materials that are moisture wicking to keep your feet dry and comfy.