Everything You Need To Know About Selecting Athletic Shoes

Athletic Shoes

Any athletes or individuals participating in high-impact sports know the toll that these activities can take on your body, especially your feet. Running and other weight-bearing exercises can exert stress on your joints, which can cause joint pain or stress fractures. This is why selecting the right pair of shoes for your athletic activities is crucial - a good pair of athletic shoes will provide a strong barrier between your feet and the outside world, increase comfort and performance and, most importantly, prevent injury.

Types Of Feet

The first step in finding the right shoe for you is understanding your foot type. There are three different kinds of feet: 

  • Flat Feet: Due to their higher flexibility, people with flat feet require specific footwear to manage their motion. You should wear shoes with strong heel support and supportive foam in the middle of your foot.
  • High arches: High arches cause your arch to be substantially taller or raised than usual. You need a flexible sports shoe with supportive arch technology. Arch support will absorb every stride's impact by the middle of the foot. 
  • Neutral feet: The arch may fall between being flat and high if you have a neutral foot. When bearing weight, the neutral arch has its middle portion slightly elevated from the ground. The majority of common shoes are suitable for this type of foot.

Selecting The Right Shoe for You

Each component of the running shoe serves a certain function and is made to fit the foot in a particular way – even the smallest difference could impact your experience. To prevent discomfort, or even injury, consider the following things when selecting athletic shoes:

Fit

Fit is crucial when choosing a pair of running shoes. The upper fitting should be rather snug and should lay smoothly without binding, chafing, or bunching. The ankle collar should prevent your ankle from slipping out from under it, and your toes should also be able to move freely. 

Heel Counter

The heel counter is a semi-rigid cup laminated inside the backfoot that supports and cradles your heel. While more minimalist shoes have done away with the heel counter to provide complete freedom of movement, some shoes include an external heel wrap that serves a similar purpose. 

 Although they do not offer motion control, heel counters center the heel for secure landings and support. Injury risk is increased if the ankle joint is unable to move upward, so be sure to choose a heel that allows for easy ankle movement.

Cushioning

The purpose of forefoot cushioning is to lessen the force generated at the front of the foot during loading and push-off, where the highest stride forces are generated. When considering the amount of cushioning you prefer in your athletic shoes, you'll want to find a balance between stability, cushioning and the ground feels. Note whether the shoe rolls into the stride smoothly and lands where you anticipate it to throughout your test runs.

Outsole

Where the rubber hits the pavement is on your shoe's outsole. It frequently consists of different rubber or foam compounds strategically positioned to boost wear resistance, improve bounce or increase flexibility. Choose materials that offer grip and toughness without adding extra weight or rigidity. Additionally, look for a footprint shape similar to yours and provides you with the ideal amount of stability.

Motion Control

Designers employ various technologie to prevent the foot from excessive motion, particularly overpronation or rolling inward. When shopping for athletic shoes, look for a style that flexes or rolls at the same speed your foot naturally prefers to move in, feels comfortable during every step and lessens the pressure on any weak points on your foot. 

No matter what activities you enjoy, be sure to consider the factors above when selecting athletic shoes so that your experience, performance and safety are maximized. 

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