So you’re looking for athletics shoes – now what?

We’ve all felt that sense of mild overwhelm, walking into a store and seeing the huge array of athletics shoes lining the walls – from the bottom of the range, to the very best Nike shoes for sale!

Although most shoe stores are able to rely on the solid training with which they provide their staff, it is useful to have some knowledge of your own, before you embark on the search. Being armed with at least a basic knowledge of what you want will save you a lot of time and effort. 

walking in a puddle

How to decide between walking and running shoes

Although there are, of course, many similarities between the two, the essential function of the shoe does differ. Support, ventilation, and sturdiness are all traits of excellent walking shoes, and contribute to a design that keeps your feet comfortable even in strenuous situations. 

The major point of difference, however, is the flexibility of the shoe. And don’t think that your Nike shoes are fine just because they are branded – you still need to find the right structural design for the job you want the shoes to do. Walking shoes should provide flexibility around the heel, where running shoes should offer more around the middle of your foot. 

Walking shoes should give a bit more leeway for movement across the front of the foot, while supporting the arch. The ideal pair would also need to be lightweight enough to be worn over a long distance without leading to fatigue. Look out for a pair that keeps the ball of your foot in line with the heel – think about how uncomfortable high heels are, and you’ll soon realise the value of this measurement!

The deal with running shoes

Running causes far greater impact to the feet than walking, and for this reason you need to have sufficient padding and cushioning around the heel. Running shoes also tend to be constructed out of more mesh than walking shoes – this helps to regulate the body heat caused by running.

The deal with pronation

People with flatter feet tend to overpronating as a result of having low arches. Although this can put you at risk for injury, it is no reason to worry – a shoe with customised arch support and extra stability will fix things easily. 

Conversely, if you notice your shoes wearing out more on the outside edges, you could be an underpronator. This refers to the feet rolling outward during walking or running, and this can be remedied by wearing shoes with thicker soles, as this will keep the pressure off your ankles. 

The perfect fit

Poor alignment of the spine is an almost guaranteed way to cause injury. The risk of misalignment can be prevented by making sure that you wear the right type of shoes. For the perfect fit, always buy your shoes at the end of the day, as your feet will be naturally swollen by then, which will help you choose a pair of shoes that is not too small.

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