How to choose the right shoe for your fitness training:

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Whether your fitness routine involves hitting the gym, running a marathon, going to a Pilates class or simply going for a walk, you need to choose the right shoe. Here’s how:

Different shoe designs support the foot and ankle in different ways to enable maximum comfort and minimise chances of injury.

Here are some top tips from sportwear specialist Sims Sports on how to choose the right shoe for your training style.

Shoes for the gym, weights training and exercise classes:

Fitness classes and activities like HIIT, Pilates, F45, CrossFit, gym or weights training often involve side-to-side movement (as opposed to the one-directional movement of walking and running)

This means you need to opt for cross-training shoes rather than ones designed for running or walking.

If you’re doing any sort of strength and weights training, you also need to make sure that the cross-training shoes you choose have plenty of tread, so they provide you with plenty of stability.

Tread relates to the pattern on the sole of the shoe, and impacts how non-slip the shoe is, so having high tread will minimise the chances of slipping and injuring yourself. Definitely do not opt for a simple running or walking shoe if you are a gym junkie.

Shoes For Running and Walking:

Did you know that when you’re running your shoes can be absorbing up to five to twelve times your body weight? That’s one of the major reasons why running shoes are designed differently to walking shoes.  These are the biggest considerations when buying shoes for walking/running:

Flexibility

Running shoes need to be more flexible than walking shoes, because your shoes aren’t absorbing anywhere near the same weight when you’re walking.

When a shoe is absorbing as much weight as a running shoe is, that can have a significant impact on the stress that is placed on the joints in your leg. So cushioning is very important in running shoes. They need to have more cushioning than walking shoes.

Your running style

Just as important is where that cushioning is distributed in a running shoe. The design of running shoes tends to be more scientific than the design for walking shoes because different people have different running styles.

For example, some people run on their toes, others hit the ground more flat-footed, while others hit with their heel first. Then there are those runners that tend to hit the ground on the inside of their feet rather than more evenly.

Walkers on the other hand usually hit the ground heel first. Walking shoes can be designed more with comfort in mind.

But the cushioning to absorb all the added weight stress in a running shoe needs to be distributed differently to cater for different running styles. It’s important that you understand your running style and that you choose a shoe that is designed for that style.

Your arch

It’s also important to understand whether you have an arched or flat foot when you’re choosing both running and walking shoes. For example, if you have a high arch (in other words, the middle part of your foot is high), you don’t have a lot of natural shock absorption in your feet and you’ll need more cushioning.

How often do you want to run or walk?

Another important buying consideration is knowing how much running or walking you want to do in your shoes. For example, are you in training for a half-marathon or marathon and doing plenty of long-distance running? If you are, you’ll also need plenty of cushioning so that your shoes will last you as long as possible.

Brookes Addiction Walker Shoe provides the perfect cushioning and ankle support for walking. Available at Sims Sports Store.
Brookes Addiction Walker Shoe provides the perfect cushioning and ankle support for walking. Available at Sims Sports Store.

The bottom line:

Choosing the right shoe is an important decision.

If you choose the right shoes for your individual needs, you’ll enjoy plenty of hassle-free use of them for as long as possible.

If you choose the wrong type of shoe to support your training style, at best you might end up with an uncomfortable walking shoe, and at worst you could injure yourself unnecessarily.

Sims Sports Store stocks a HUGE range of sports footwear and apparel in their Moonee Ponds store in Melbourne, including leading brands like ASICS, Nike, Adidas, Puma, Brooks, New Balance, Mizuno and Converse.

You can check out the hundreds of products they stock either in-store or online. They offer fast shipping Australia-wide. 

What we love: They’re a family-owned and operated business that have been going strong since 1935, so you’re guaranteed great customer service and great prices for all the latest gear. You can get exclusive access to special deals if you sign up for their monthly newsletter.

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Sarah Carroll

CONTRIBUTOR

Sarah navigates health and fitness alongside a sinful sweet tooth and an unfortunate tendency to splash her savings online shopping, eating out or buying $10 cocktails at happy hour. With a love for yoga, animals and musical theatre, Sarah is rarely found without a peppermint-green tea in hand, tearing up over animal videos on Instagram.

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