Most people don’t realise that training shoes actually need replacing every 3 – 4 months, especially if you use them regularly eg. Runners, walkers, instructors, sports, group exercisers etc. (And this post isn't sponsored – unfortunately that's just a fact.)
I hear many people when they buy their next pair of shoes are really shocked to feel just how ‘slack’ and ‘empty’ the old ones had become. What is it that allows us to keep wearing shoes that are providing no support to our incredible bodies? Why don’t we feel when it is truly time to get new shoes? Why do we put our bodies in disregard while exercising when we wouldn’t ever go on a date with old, sloppy shoes?
The importance of good footwear when exercising is a loving choice to care for your body. Training shoes offer support, stability and can reduce the impact from the ground back into the body, which in turn reduces injury risk.
- Go to a specialist shop – one where the staff will observe how you walk, run, stand and give you the right shoe for your gait and your exercise purpose. Generally avoid high street brand shops over a well-established running specialist shop.
- Avoid fashion choices – buy the shoe that works for your gait, comfort and exercise purpose rather than the ‘new brand’ or ‘the colour you like’. And if you do find a good-looking trainer that also supports you please let me know!
- Think long term quality of movement.
- Rotate shoes - because shoes only last 3-4 months, if you can afford to, buy two pairs and rotate them. As a trainer I have been known to buy 3 at a time.
- Buy on line – when you know what style and size you need it is great to buy on-line as it will save you money
- Try them – Never be sold a pair of shoes, always feel them, move around, walk and be the expert in your feet and body when choosing what shoes you prefer.
- Buy good socks too. This is another area to explore, what socks suit you best? You can have the best shoes in the world and if your socks roll, slide down or bulge it can cause blisters and hardening plus be super annoying when out and about exercising.
Terms that may help
- Running shoes – good for walking, running and predominately forward plane movement activities. They are light and don’t have much support for lateral (side to side) movement in the foot
- Cross trainer – a general all round shoe, for people that do classes, walk, perhaps the old tennis game. They offer more lateral support than running shoes
- Court shoes – For court exercise, tennis, squash, badminton where there is a lot of side movement and these shoes have a more solid sole and weight.
- Sport specific – If you play tennis, mountain bike, bush walk etc buy shoes specific for your sport. They will be designed particularly for that purpose and issues that arise in that sport
- Pronate – feet that roll inwards
- Supinate – feet that roll outwards.
Have you got a slightly shameful pair of trainers that you want to share with the world? Or a favourite pair of new ones? Send us a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to the end of this blog.