Finding the perfect athletic shoes is not an easy feat. There are numerous options to choose from and the decision is made harder when you don’t have a solid plan. Athletic shoes are made to enhance performance, prevent injury, and give the person wearing them, the support and stability that their legs need.
Whether you are buying your first pair or your tenth pair, here are some tips to help you decide which athletic shoes to go for.
Difference between Walking and Running Shoes
Have you ever gone to Nike stores in Australia and picked up pairs of running and walking shoes? A quick look at them might be all you need to spot the differences between these two types of shoes.
When running, there is pressure on your feet because of the high level of impact. When running, you need to move fast while ensuring that you do not injure yourself along the way. Running shoes are designed to be lighter for better performance and stability while walking shoes are heavier. Walking shoes are made with heavier materials for support because your foot has more contact with the ground even though you don’t feel as much impact as you would when running.
The cushioning on the shoes is different. Running shoes have more cushioning to absorb the shock from moving fast, reduce the pressure on the foot, and prevent it from injury. Although it is made with lighter materials, extra cushioning is always added to the soles of running shoes. Walking shoes on the other hand do not have the same amount of cushioning due to the lower impact and pressure.
Both running and walking shoes are flexible and made with breathable materials. This is to aid easy movement and promote airflow when walking or running.
What does your shoe offer you?
Running shoes are designed around the principles of providing adequate padding, breathability to counteract the heightened body temperature that occurs as a result of the physical exertion of running, and enough stability to provide shock absorption to protect the joints.
Walking shoes are designed for less impact, but require a lot more stability, particularly around the heel and ankle. Leather is often used to produce these shoes, as it is resilient and very protective.
Guide to Pronation
Pronation refers to the natural movement of the foot when you walk or run. This movement differs among people and finding your type of pronation can help in deciding the shoes you invest in.
The first type of pronation is overpronation. Overpronation means that more of your weight is transferred to the inner edge of your foot instead of the ball part due to the excessive inward roll. For this type of pronation, your lower leg feels the impact most and it is usually regarded as flat feet. Due to the uneven distribution of weight and impact, you would experience pain in your heel, ankle, shin, arch, and knee. Also, a person who overpronates tends to experience injuries easily.
For overpronators, shoes with good stability and a lot of cushioning in the heel or lower part of the leg are the best fit.
Next is underpronation which is also called excess supination. In this case, more pressure is placed on the outside of the foot. This places extra stress on the smaller toes as they do most of the work. The best shoes for this are shoes made with light materials, have great flexibility, and enough cushioning around the shoes.
Pointers for your next shopping spree
Go with as much information as you can before getting athletic shoes. It is also a good idea to do your shopping at the end of the day when your feet is swollen as it helps you pick shoes that guarantee you the most comfort. Need extra help? Look for some consultants at AU Nike stores for guidance. They have been trained to guide you through the process and answer your questions.