Most people pick shoes based on how cute or cool they look, but when it comes to working out, you need to think of your shoes as a tool to get you to your goals. Therefore, your shoes need to address your needs first, regardless of how they look.
Your feet take quite a beating walking, running, and being stuffed into all kinds of uncomfortable shoes. This is important because problems in the feet can affect your body from the heels all the way up to your head. Since feet are so important, you definitely need to get the right pair of shoes for the activities you engage in.
If you like to run, you should take a look at running shoes, trail running shoes, or “barefoot shoes.” Prefer to walk? Grab some walking shoes. If you are more of the dancing type, you’ll want shoes that can glide on the studio floor and if you’re into a mix of activities, a cross-training shoe will be your best bet. Take a look at the four main types of shoes below to get a better idea of what might be right for you.
Classic Running Shoe – Has extra cushion for impact, are more flexible than other shoes, has a breathable mesh upper and should cradle your foot.
Trail Running Shoe – Less cushioned than a classic running shoe and more rigid. These shoes also have features to avoid injury.
Cross-Training Shoe – Durable and wide outsole to accommodate the gym, concrete, or court. Constructed to provide more stability through the ankle than other shoes.
Walking Shoe – Sole is narrow in the heel and flexible at the forefoot to provide proper mechanics for a heel to toe strike. While walking shoes are more stiff than running shoes, they should have some flexibility.
Figuring out which type of shoe is right for you is step 1, but having the proper support for your unique gait is important as well. While you can do some research on your own to figure out which type of arch and pronation you have, I recommend getting an analysis from a specialist. This is a free service that many running stores carry in which a qualified staff member will evaluate you both visually and electronically to figure out what type of support and correction you will need. Below is a list of some of the places where you can get evaluated. Happy shoe shopping!
*Click on the name of the store to be directed to their website.
On the Run San Francisco, CA
Fleet Feet Various Locations
Road Runner Sports Various Locations
A Runner’s Mind Burlingame, CA
TranSports Oakland and Berkeley, CA