Getting a leg-up on some of your favorite outdoor activities often means finding the right shoes for the task-at-hand (err foot!). Check out these features to keep in mind when spotting the right shoes to get sporty!
Whether you’re an avid walker or just in-need of a solid athletic shoe, this style is for you! You want a walking shoe that is lightweight allowing easy, comfortable mobility. Cushioning and shock absorption should be sufficient, but not be overly rigid. Instead, the sole should have flexibility and a rounded bottom, enabling a fluid motion for heel striking and toeing off, when walking.
Running can expose your feet to forces up to 3 times your body weight. Look for a running shoe that has ample shock absorption. This protects your feet from taking a beating when pounding the pavement over time. Running is a higher impact activity than walking, so it is a good idea for your running shoe to have a rigid sole (NOT flexible). The rigid sole should ONLY bend at the ball of the foot.
Hard Surface Activities:
Hard surface activities can mean murderous wear-n-tear not only to your feet BUT to your shoes, as well! That’s because these activities- such as basketball and tennis-involve lateral movements, abrupt stopping, and running. A quality basketball shoe should have thick shock absorption and a rigid sole to offload impact from running and jumping. It is recommended that basketball shoes are high-tops to provide added stability with lateral movement. High-tops are also believed to aid in ankle stability, but do not completely eliminate the risk of ankle sprains/injuries. Tennis shoes should have a thicker sole that is rigid and is only flexible at the ball of the foot for stability and repetitive movements. A sole with more tread is also good to keep in mind for added traction with abrupt stops.
Like to indulge in a variety of outdoor activities? Then a cross-training shoe might be the way to go. Viewed as a hybrid athletic shoe, this style combines features form various specialty shoes to accommodate the jack (or jill)-of-all-trades.
Want more information on finding the right “kicks” for the right activity? Check out our series Soul Searching: 8 Tips to Finding Your Perfect of Athletic Shoes!
Putting your best FEET forward,