Shoes are about more than just fashion. They support what may just be one of the most important parts of your body – your feet! Yes, the feet are the foundation on which your entire body is built and if they aren’t supported correctly, then the whole thing can come tumbling down. OK, maybe not tumble down, but you will be prone to injury and not perform at your best with ill-fitting shoes. Here’s what you should look for when it comes to shoes for your workout!
Get to Know Your Foot
Personal trainers like Los Angeles-based Lalo Fuentes, CSCS, think that getting to know your foot is the first step to finding the right shoe. He says, “Your feet are just as original as the rest of you, so understand what your feet need to be properly supported.” It’s not as difficult as you may think!
The easiest way to discover your foot shape is the wet test. Wet your feet and then step on a piece of brown paper. Trace your foot and you will be able to see where it makes the most contact or where it makes no contact at all. Or you can look at your most well-loved pair of sneakers and see where the most wear is on the sole.
A footprint that shows no curve on the inside, or shoes with the most wear on the inside, means your arches are low. This is also called having a “flat foot.” Generally, this means the feet roll inward. You’ll need a shoe with a lot of support and motion control.
If the footprint reveals only a part of your heel and forefoot with a narrow bridge between the two making contact with the paper, then you have high arches. Personal trainers call this “under-pronation” and it causes wear on the outer edge of the shoe and maybe a little on the toe. You need cushioned shoes with soft soles.
A neutral arch shows a footprint with a distinct curve, causing shoes to wear uniformly. Shoes with good stability are what you should be on the lookout for.
A Few Shopping Tips
Now that you know what type of foot you have it’s time to shop! The first step to shoe shopping is to get your feet measured. Your shoe size will change over time, so sticking with just one size may cause some problems down the road!
Also, make sure you shop toward the end of the day. Your feet will swell so by the end of the day shoes may fit differently than they did in the morning. Even if you plan on working out in the morning, finding a properly fitting shoe means finding a shoe that fits when your feet are at their largest!
Contrary to popular belief, shoes should be comfortable from the get-go – they don’t need to be broken in. Any shoes you will use for your workout should feel good from the first moment you slip them on.
Finally, make sure you buy a shoe for the activity you will be participating in when wearing them. If you’re going to run, buy running shoes. If you’re cross training, buy cross trainers. If you’re going to be walking, buy walking shoes. Each shoe has different features that make it best for certain activities, so get the right ones!
If you have questions about the right type of shoe for your workout, personal trainers just like Lalo Fuentes are great resources! Yes, you can take fashion advice from your personal trainer! They can help point you in the right direction to find the right shoe for your workout!