There’s something special about the spring season that just motivates people to get out and active again. It could be the longer days or the warmer weather, but this past year has certainly taught all of us that we need to prioritize our health. That includes the health of our feet, too! Whether you’ve constructed a home gym, your local gym is re-opening, or you’re going for runs more often, it’s time to choose a new pair of spring workout shoes. Here are a few tips for selecting the right ones:
The Makeup of Workout Shoes
Why is it so important to purchase a pair of shoes specifically for working out? Mainly to avoid a nasty injury. Imagine the damage you could do if you went for a jog in high heels or played a game of basketball in steel toe boots. Most shoes are designed with a purpose in mind – like running, basketball, and other athletic footwear. While each has their own distinctions, their general makeup is the same. This includes several parts such as:
- Upper – The top part of shoes that connect to the midsoles below, completely surrounding the feet. Typically made from mesh to allow for proper airflow.
- Midsole – Inner part of the sole found just below the arches of the feet. Designed to absorb the shock that results from heel strikes.
- Outer Sole – The bottom of the outer shoe that provides traction for movement. Grips the ground with thick or thin treads that are flexible.
- Tongue – The cushion located directly below the shoelaces. Protects the top of the foot from pressure and chafing.
- Heel Counter – Another cushion wrapped around the heel. Reinforces the heel whenever it’s in motion.
- Toe Box – The space in the shoe where the toes can rest securely.
Favor Function Over Fashion
Not all workout shoes have the same function, even if they appear to be comparable to the best on the market. While you may want to find the pair that fits into your favorite categories of colors and brands, some of them could be overcompensating for the element they’re lacking on – extra support. The best choices are the ones that last the longest, not the ones that get you the most attention. However, you can find a pair that’s stylish and functional if you’re willing to put in the time. You can never try enough shoes on.
Finding the Right Fit
As you’re trying on a variety of workout shoes, don’t end up settling for the pair that “fits well enough.” You know your feet best and, by this point, can probably tell whether shoes will fit even before you try them on. Don’t waste your time with the ones that don’t match the shape of your foot. You can only break shoes in so much! Speaking of which, did you know that your foot’s shape is slightly different in the morning than at night? That’s because they become a bit swollen after being walked around on all day. Evenings are the ideal time to find shoes that will never feel too tight. If you can leave half an inch of space for your toes, you should be on track for more comfortable workouts.
Injuries Caused by Improper Footwear
Here is a list of injuries that may occur due to improper footwear while working out:
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Ankle Sprains
- Hammer Toes
- Heel Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin Splints
- Stress Fractures
- Turf Toe
Treat Your Feet Before Buying New Shoes If you’ve experienced pain or discomfort from any of the above conditions, then you should consider seeing a podiatrist before choosing your new workout shoes. While you may gain instant relief from buying a new pair, they cannot treat your feet like our doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center can. After requesting an appointment online, we can help you to identify the exact problem so that you can get back to your workouts pain-free.