What you wear on your feet directly impacts everything you do. The way you move and feel and look. So much so that footwear industry is booming and huge. There’s so much science and information out there that it’s hard to know where to start, what to look for and what is supposed to suit you.
So I thought I would give you a quick start guide to what shoes to have for whatever you health needs be!
So without further ado:
1) Gym Workout / Indoor Group Training / Weightlifting / Crossfit
This is probably the most common question regarding what people wear in the gym "What kind of shoes should I buy?”
It’s a great question, sports companies have had us going for years that we need this one or this one, every summer they tell us something different. So it’s time to really figure things out.
During these workouts it’s safe to say you’ll be doing a variety of types of exercises with different focuses, from weight lifting to jumping to ViPR work to cardio equipment etc. So you want some shoes which will be able to deal with all of these aspects.
Luckily there is an answer, you want to look for ‘cross training’ / ‘training’ / ‘barefoot’.
These shoes are designed to lock your feet in, give you a stable platform, flexibility to move and allow your feet to naturally react to ground forces created. All things you need when working in these environments.
Look for shoes with minimal heel to toe difference (you don’t want loads of cushioning but some) stable heels and flexible toes.
Reebok Cross Trainers
Barefoot (see barefoot section for the deetz)
Once again, we’ve been inundated with information which changes every summer for years. Barefoot is best, no loads of cushioning is best, no we need actual springs on our soles. (I'm not even kidding about that last one, Adidas do ones with actual springs.)
Running shoes are tricky, everyone runs differently, so it’s hard to take a one size fits all approach. Generally though you’re making a lot of ground contacts with the ground and it can be a lot of repetitive shocks to the legs and joints, so a little bit of cushioning can help. But within that the choice is yours, if you prefer a more cushioned feel go for more cushioning, more of a natural go barefoot or for the ‘natural ride’ feel.
Look for runners though, always do. They’re specifically designed for forward motion and your foot going through that consistent running motion.
Don’t use runners for training or side to side motion activity.
They’re too well cushioned so it raises your heel making gym work tricky, and they’re not designed for side to side motion which is a sure fire answer for a sprained ankle.
Adidas, Nike, basically any type brand that makes a shoe
3) Trail Running / Hiking
This is kind of a new section, but it’s up and coming more and more.
More companies are offering these types of shoes as it’s becoming a more and more popular past time for the population of HK.
Basically you need to look at the tread of the shoe, does it have lots of bumps and grippy parts?
If so then you probably have your hands on a pretty good trail runner / hiking shoes.
Personally I like the ones that can get wet and dry pretty quickly and are light.
North Face, Merrel, Columbia, Vivo, Vibram
Barefoot is an interesting and hotly debated topic.
Some critics think it’s the worst idea and some people think its the best thing since sliced bread.
The biggest thing about barefoot is breaking into it slowly, if you went from never going barefoot to hiking 4 hours barefoot every day, it’s going to be a disaster.
So start by wearing them once or twice a week for about an hour at a time, then slowly up this until you can wear them all the time.
Barefoot can be used for all of the above mentioned activities, but stick to the ones above, don’t go and play a game of basketball in barefoot shoes.
Vibram, Vivo Barefoot
Often enough, the sport your playing will have specially designed shoes for that sport. Whether it’s tennis, basketball, indoor football etc etc…
Suggestion: buy them.
They’re built for the sport you’re playing. They’re going to give you the best support and movement possible when playing whatever sport your playing.
You don’t have to buy the flashiest pair or a new pair every season, but make sure you invest in a decent pair to help you out.
The end all of this is to take care of your feet, protect them. The way your feet hit the ground directly affects how the rest of your body moves and feels.
So take the time, invest and enjoy!
- Coach Williams