Athletic Shoes: It’s That Time Again

Athletic shoes are worn for specific reasons and shopping for a pair is no walk in the park. Here, you are not aiming for appearance alone as there is a need to consider contributing elements that can affect your use of the shoes.

There are questions to ponder, and boxes that need to be ticked before you make your next purchase. Why? Because your athletic shoes need to contain features that enhance your performance, protect and support your feet, as well as relieve pressure when performing strenuous activities. Athletic shoes are not made the same and you must filter through the options to arrive at a pair that embodies everything you want. So, before your next trip to Nike stores in Australia, here are some pointers that can be of use. 

Walking and Running Shoes – The Difference 

For most, these two types of athletic shoes are the same or can be used for similar functions but that is far from the truth. There will be no need to create two distinct athletic shoes if one can do everything. 

Let’s start with running shoes. As the name goes, this type of athletic shoe has special features for running. Running shoes tend to be lighter to prevent a runner from getting tired easily or feeling weighed down since their feet spend little time on the ground.

Due to the impact made with the ground and the pressure applied when running, running shoes have more cushioning placed in the entire shoe than just specific areas like the heels. Walking shoes also have cushioning but not to the level of running shoes. 

In terms of flexibility, the body is under more stress when running as it has to move faster and for running shoes, emphasis is placed on certain areas that can make the shoe more flexible to aid easy movement. Since the feet get hotter while running, the shoes are designed to promote easy airflow for comfort.

Walking shoes, on the other hand, tend to be heavier, and lay more emphasis on durability than breathability. The pressure placed on the feet is low while walking and there is little to no need to improve performance which means that walking shoes are less flexible and don’t possess as much cushioning. 

So, you need both running and walking shoes if you have spent a long time using them interchangeably. 

Focusing on Pronation

Pronation refers to the way your feet roll inward when you move. There are 3 types of pronation which are overpronation, neutral pronation, and underpronation.

Overpronation refers to the excessive inward rolling of your feet when you walk or run. People with this type of pronation usually experience pain or injuries when wearing the wrong shoes. For overpronators, stability shoes that provide a good degree of support are needed to help the feet move more naturally.

Underpronation or supination refers to the inadequate or lack of inward rolling. Underpronators need minimum or moderate neutral shoes to improve flexibility and support the feet. 

What if you don’t know your type of pronation? The best way to find out your pronation type is to conduct a gait analysis at a health center or have them do it at AU Nike stores before you shop. Knowing your pronation helps in picking shoes that are tailored to your needs.

In the end…

Always get a correct fit. Your shoes should not be too tight to limit blood circulation and shouldn’t be too loose. The best time to go shoe shopping is in the late afternoon or at the end of the day when your feet are a bit swollen. Shopping in the morning means that there is always the possibility of your shoes becoming uncomfortable and tight the more you walk in it so, the best thing to do is to shop at the end of the day to ensure comfort at all times.

To get the correct fit, have your feet measured at the store by the consultant attending to you and you can always get your shoes half size bigger than your normal size to provide enough wiggle room for your feet. It is also advisable to try on the shoes before you take them on. Try the shoes on while standing and perform various activities with them.

If you are getting running shoes, give it a test run on the treadmill available in the store and walk around with it to get a better feel of the shoes. If you love wearing socks with your shoes, don’t forget to take your favorite pair of running socks for the testing.