- Buy footwear designed for the activity you want to do. Running shoes are very flexible, allowing the foot to bend and flex through each step, they have increased shock absorption for when the heel strikes the ground and are designed for forward motion. Sports such as tennis, basketball and aerobics involve sideways stepping, and require shoes that provide greater sideways support.
- A common mistake is to buy trainers that are too small. Shoe manufacturers produce trainers designed for people with low arches and high arches. It’s vital that this is recognised so that you can buy the right shoe for the type of foot you have. Buy trainers from a shop where the staff are trained in fitting.
- The most important thing is that your sportswear is appropriate for your body and your workout. Choose a reputable manufacturer, but a most expensive designer label doesn’t always guarantee the best fit for your feet.
- If you have orthotic insoles, ensure you try on new footwear with your orthotics in place. This will confirm the trainers you choose will accommodate your orthotic insole comfortably, rather than it being an unwelcome costly surprise when you get home. Even new trainers alone can’t do the job of a bespoke orthotic insole, specifically prescribed by our Podiatrists.
- If you’re training every day, ideally have two pairs of trainers and alternate them to allow them to dry out over 24 hours.
There is no single ‘best shoe’ – everyone has different needs. Your biomechanics, your weight, the surface you run on and obviously the shape of your feet – mean that one person’s idea shoe can be terrible for another person.
There are four main categories relating to sport shoes; stability, performance, neutral and minimalist.
Recommended for runners who are mild to moderate overpronators and who generally have low to normal arches. These runners tend to need a shoe with a combination of good support and midsole cushioning.
Recommended either for racing or, if your biomechanically efficient, for training. They have varying degrees of support and cushioning.
Recommended for runners who need maximum midsole cushioning and minimum medial support. These shoes are best for biomechanically efficient runners and midfoot or forefoot strikers with high or normal arches.
Recommended for the biomechanically efficient runner who want maximum responsiveness and a stripped down shoe while retaining an element of cushioning. These are seen as the midpoint between neutral cushioned and performance shoes.