Insight Update

How to pick the right footwear for your workout

When it comes to working out, it’s safe to assume that your feet are probably the last thing on your mind. However, no matter if you’re looking to increase muscle mass, lose weight, or increase endurance, you won’t be able to do this effectively if you’re wearing inappropriate shoes.

We’re all too familiar with footballer’s having to take time off for foot injuries, however they’re no laughing matter, and can put a quick stop to your workout routine, and even cause long-term injuries that can impact you throughout your later life.

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your workouts and protecting yourself from your ankles down to your toes, Dean Zweck, Product Development Manager at Total Fitness, has shared some of his top tips for choosing the right footwear for your next workout.

Risks of Incorrect Footwear

We stand on them for the majority of the day, and they often take a serious beating, so it’s important that we give our feet the love and care they need to help keep them healthy. Without doing this, it can have serious implications for our health and wellbeing.

When we exercise, our bodies operate at a higher intensity, which means they take more of a beating than normal. This is particularly true of our feet, as they take most of the impact whilst we exercise. Therefore, it is imperative that you wear shoes that can adapt to this impact and protect your feet. Failing to do so increases your risk of both short and long-term injury.
Ankle strains and fractures are some of the most commonly known injuries when it comes to inappropriate footwear, however, they can also cause corns, bunions, and joint pains within your feet, particularly around your toes and the ball of your foot. These can cause long-term issues, which may prevent you from working out as regularly, and can even affect your day-to-day life, limiting your mobility even when walking.

With all of this said, it is important to select the right shoes for you, making sure that they fit your feet properly, are made from quality materials, and the shoes cater specifically to the sport you’re planning on doing.

Every Foot is Different

Every human is different, right down to our feet, so, as the saying goes, shoes aren’t a one size fits all. Aside from the obvious, that people have different sized feet, the shape of our feet can also be drastically different.

Generally, all feet have a slight curvature at their base, however, this curvature can vary from person to person. Some people have a much deeper curve, which is known as an arched foot, whilst other people have flat feet. The width of our feet is also important, as two people can have the same sized feet in length but have very different width’s.
This all means that, when looking for a pair of shoes, you need to take into account what kind of feet you have as different feet will need different levels of support depending on their curvature and width.

Footwear By Sport

Different sports place different levels of intensity on our feet. Runners place a large amount of pressure on their feet as they continually hit the floor, whilst those focused on weight training will have their feet planted to the floor, meaning the impact is less.

With different sports placing different pressures on your feet, you’ll need to pick the right shoes for your chosen sport. For runner’s, you’ll need some extra cushioning to absorb the impact of your feet hitting the floor. This will not only help to protect your feet and stop any injuries, but it will also help you to run longer, as your feet won’t ache as much whilst running.

For those focused more on weight training and static workouts, this cushioning isn’t required, and can actually hinder these activities. For these workouts, you’ll need some lower-profile shoes that prioritise grip over cushioning, allowing your feet to feel anchored to the ground.
Check the Fit
I’m sure many of us have experienced poor-fitting shoes at least once in our lives. Too tight, and our feet can feel trapped, but too lose, and it feels like our feet are flapping about inside our shoes.

When buying shoes for workouts, you need to make sure they fit your feet properly. Your feet should feel secure within the shoe so they won’t move around, but they should still have space to breathe and not feel too claustrophobic. This will not only make for a more comfortable experience, but will also help the blood circulation in your feet.

Replace Regularly

Whilst we may all have clothing items we hold onto and wear over and over again, your workout shoes shouldn’t be one of them. The continuous use of shoes wears down the soles, which can take away from the very properties you bought them for.

Particularly in the case of running shoes, where the cushioning will wear down overtime, it’s important to replace your shoes whenever you notice that they feel worn down, which is typically between 3 to 6 months after buying them, however, this depends on how often, and for how long you use them.

So, when you’re heading out on your next workout, whether for a run round your local park, or a quick workout at the gym, you’ll be able to strut out with your best foot forward, knowing your feet will be comfortable and safe.

Find out more about Total Fitness on their website.

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