Do you wear the same pair of shoes for all the different activities that you do? STOP! You’re putting yourself at risk of getting injured. It’s essential to have the right pair of shoes for the activity that you’re doing; this is not a marketing method, it’s necessary!
Which is the right shoe for you?
Think about this for a minute: when you run, you’re putting a very different type of pressure on your feet than if you’re lifting weights at the gym or playing a fast-moving sport – and so you need a shoe to support your feet for that activity.
Running: A well-cushioned shoe that absorbs sudden shock. When your foot hits the ground, a large amount of impact is generated and runs through your entire leg. If your shoe is unable to absorb this sudden impact it may cause an injury.
It’s also important to make sure that your foot is striking the ground, correctly – certain ways of foot-strike cause more impact than others. It’s best to go and see a sport science professional who will be able to analyse your foot-strike and then explain the best running techniques to suit you.
Gym: If you’re alternating between lifting weights and doing cardio (running on the treadmill and/or riding on the exercise bike), it’s best to buy a pair of cross-trainers. These are well-cushioned, have a non-slip sole and are made to enhance your stability.
Fast-moving sports such as tennis: The ability to run quickly from side-to-side, stop immediately to play a shot and then repeat the process again…and again. You need to be flexible and so your shoes should be too: all tennis shoes have flexible soles to protect your ankles and feet from the fast direction changes.
Other useful accessories
Here are a few accessories that can help you gauge your progress.
- Running socks made of breathable fabric to help prevent blisters; absorb sweat, which will also stop the shoes from getting the bad-shoe-smell.
- GPS Watches that will measure your heart rate, pace and distance and the number of calories that you burn.
- Insoles for extra cushioning and support.
- LED Strap so that you run in the evening, you are visible to people in cars, on bicycles and motorbikes.
The bottom line is that the right gear gives you the means to help you progress in your activity of choice as well as protecting you from accidents and/or injuries that could put you on the side lines for months (or even years!) It’s time to make the shift, now!