How To Choose The Best Athletic Shoes For Your Feet

Running Shoes

The design of sports shoes evolve from time to time, manufacturers use advanced technologies and materials in making athletic shoes. If you’re a sportsperson, you’ll have a pair of sports shoes, sneakers or gym shoes that enhances your performance.bes

These shoes help you to get the best out of the sport and they can minimize and prevent you from sustaining injuries. Choosing the wrong athletic shoes will do you more harm than good, you can develop aching heels, ankle pains, and suffer from foot injuries.

While you are facing a dilemma over what shoes to pick, we have prepared a guide to help you in selecting the best athletic shoes. Irrespective of the sport you are into, this article will provide you with tips for choosing the perfect sport shoe.

How To Select Athletic Shoes To Buy

Generally, the most important factor to consider when buying shoes is to know your foot. The feet of everyone isn’t equal, they all come in various shapes and sizes.

Most shoe brands and manufacturers have shoes for every kind of feet. It is advisable that you know your feet and the degree of stability or support that you need.

how to choose sports shoes

If you are yet to know your feet and the best shoes for your feet, you’ve to do a DIY test. The ‘wet test’ will help you to determine the shape of your foot. You can do this by wetting your feet and stamping it on a plan dry surface.

Alternatively, you can step on a sheet of brown paper, then trace your feet using a pen or pencil. After performing this test, you should know how your foot looks like.

If your shoe wears out on the outside edge or if your footmark shows just a part of your heel and forefoot with just a narrow connection between the both of them, it is likely that you have high arches and your feet tend to supinate or underpronate.

Underpronation makes causes wear on the external edge of the heel and the little toe. If your feet underpronate, you should get a cushioned shoe that comes with a soft midsole.

If your shoes wear out uniformly or if footprint shows a distinct curve on the inside, you’ve got a neutral arch. People with a neutral arch are to get a stability shoe that provides the right proportion of support and cushioning. You don’t have to get shoes with extra stability or support if you have a neutral arch because it is not necessary.

If the footprint shows the entire bottom of your foot with no marks of the curve on the inside, it is likely that you’ve got low arches or you are flat-footed. Your feet can overpronate if you have low arches or flat feet.

athletic shoes

Overpronation makes the arch and ankle roll inward and makes the foot spread outward while walking. If your feet overpronate, follow this post to know how to find the best running shoes for flat feet. If you have flat feet, a motion control shoe will offer you a higher degree of support and stability.

Purchase Shoes From A Reliable Store

Buy shoes from a reliable store, the store owner should give you the type of shoe that you need for your sport. If you are buying from a store, bring the socks that you would wear for the sport.

Your feet tend to expand towards the end of the day; they also swell while you run or walk. For this reason, you should try on the shoes after a workout or training.

If you wear orthotics, you will have to get shoes that fit you with the orthotic inside. If you are buying online, you should purchase from a safe and trusted online merchant.

Run A Check On The Shoes

Before making your payment, run a test on the shoe to know if you fit your feet. If it does, you should be able to walk freely and wiggle all your toes without difficulties.  Take a few steps around to know if the shoe looks comfortable on you.

You can examine to heel to know if it is firm; a firm heel will not make you slip while you run or walk.

High-quality athletic shoes are often pricey, however, they are the best for the money. You can find decent sports shoes at a cheap price of $30,  but they won’t be as good as the ones sold for $120.

Best running shoes

Do Not Multitask Your Shoes

Even if your shoes are versatile, do not multitask them as this may cause them to wear out sooner than expected. Running shoes are known for their flexibility, they offer extra cushioning to counteract impact.

If you perform various in two or more sport activities such as basketball, tennis, walking or running, you’re recommended to get a pair of shoes for each sport.

Change Shoes Regularly

Sturdy sport sneakers are durable and designed last, but you will have to replace them when necessary. An average pair of running shoes will need to be replaced after 300 hours of exercise, which is about 350-400 miles of use.

If your shoe gets less supportive or feels uncomfortable on you, then it’s high time to get a new pair of shoes to replace them. The cushioning material in the shoe wears out over time, which is a signal that it’s time to change the shoes.

Common Styles Of Athletic Shoes

Here are some common styles of sports shoes. Each of these styles are unique, they have features that make them distinct from the other.

Cushioned Shoes    

Cushioned shoes are designed to serve as shock absorbers, they have less rigidity and offer less control compared to other shoe styles.

They are not the best choice for overpronators or anyone with flat feet or any kind of ankle or feet disability. People with stiff, high-arched feet will find these cushioned shoes great to wear.

Minimalist Shoes

Minimalist shoes were made out of the desire of people who expressed interest in barefoot running. Barefoot running means running shoeless; that is, running without wearing anything on the feet.

Minimalist shoe styles are made with a thin, light sole. They do little or no change in the height of the one who wears it. The soles have deep grooves, this gives room for more flexion. This enables the midfoot and the forefoot to flex more, however, this will cause problems for people with toe problems like a bunion.

People prefer minimalist shoes because it gives them a natural feel while running like to run. Minimalist shoes offer less support than a traditional running shoe, they make the muscles of your lower leg and foot to work extra hard to reduce maintain foot stability and reduce impact when your feet come in contact with the ground.

People with flat feet should avoid wearing minimalist shoes to avoid injuries. If you are an overpronator, you will feel uncomfortable whenever you try to wear minimalist shoes.

If you are suffering from arthritis or tendonitis, you should look out for shoes that offer more support than a minimalist shoe.

Motion Control Shoes

How To Get The Best Athletic Shoes

You should consider getting motion control shoes if you are an overpronator or if you suffer from foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis, arthritis, tendonitis.

Motion control shoes feature an arch in the midsole area that has a sturdy plastic shell. This feature separates the heel of the shoe from the forefoot area.

Motion-control shoes provide maximum support and a high degree of stability which can resist foot pronation. Excess pronation can result in foot ailments such as knee problems, plantar fasciitis, and tendonitis.

Stability Shoes

Stability shoes are mostly sneakers, they offer good support, they are great for people whose feet do not overpronate. If your feet don’t require extra support, then you need to get a pair of stability shoes.

They have less control over foot motion compared to the motion control shoe models. Shoe brands such as Adidas, Nike, and New Balance produces stability shoes. If you want to have little flexibility, then you need to get these shoe styles.

Types Of Athletic Shoes    

How To Choose The Best Athletic Shoes

There are several types of athletic shoes, they vary in design, weight, material, and quality. There are manufactured to shield the areas of the feet that are stressed out during athletic activity.

  • Outdoor Sports Shoes: These are shoes that are used for outdoor and leisure activities. They are mostly used for recreational activities such as camping, fishing, hunting, boating, etc.
  • Field Sports Shoes: They include shoes for football, baseball, hockey, rugby, and soccer. These shoes are spiked, cleated, or studded. The stud and spike formations vary depending on the sport. Generally, they are detachable or replaceable studs, cleats or spikes affixed onto nylon soles.
  • Court Sports Shoes: They include shoes for tennis, volleyball, and basketball. Typically, count sports shoes require the body to move backward, forward, and from side-to-side.
  • Specialty Sport Shoes: These include athletic shoes for cycling, motorcycling, aerobic dancing, and gold.
  • Walking, running, and training shoes: These are shoes used for exercises, workouts, and training purposes. They include running shoes, shoes for hiking, and exercise walking.
  • Track and field sport shoes: These shoes come in several models; they are made to match the needs and training styles of the individual and solo runners.

What Are The Things To Look Out For In An Athletic Shoe?

best athletic sneakers

There are several things you should consider when picking an athletic shoe. Every sport has the kind of shoe the player or athlete should use. Here are some factors to note when selecting a ssportsshoe.

Basketball Shoes          

If you play basketball, you need to choose a shoe that has a stiff, thick sole. Basketball shoes offer you extra stability when you’re running on the court.

A high-top shoe (a sports shoe that extends beyond the player’s ankle) may provide you with more support, but will not actually reduce the risk of ankle sprain or foot injury.

Walking Shoes

If walking is your preferred sport or activity, then you shouldn’t be looking for heavy shoes. Rather, you should look for a lightweight shoe that gives extra shock absorption especially under the ball of the foot and in the heel of the shoe.

This can significantly reduce foot injuries like heel pain as well as metatarsalgia, which is the inflammation in the ball of the foot.

Running Shoes

how to find the best sports shoes

Basically, the best running shoes should have enough cushioning to absorb shock, but there are arguments in favor of minimalist running shoes that offer little or no cushioning.

If you select a cushioned shoe, you should look for a one with all-round shock absorption that offers support, stability, flexibility, and control in the heel counter area coupled with lightness and good traction. That will help to prevent excessive injuries, tendinitis, heel pain, stress fractures, ankle pain, shin splints, etc.

Aerobic Shoes

Aerobic shoes should be lightweight to eliminate any possible foot fatigue and injuries. Since lots of foot stress occurs beneath the ball of the foot, shoes for aerobic conditioning should provide extra shock absorption in the sole.

To minimize foot fatigue, you can work out on a smooth and soft surface like a carpet.

Tennis Shoes     

Tennis is a game where the players move from side-to-side to strike the ball. Tennis players should get a shoe that supports the foot when making instant side-to-side movements.

A sneaker that offers support and stability on the inside and outside of the foot will be great. You should get these tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis if you feel pain at the bottom of your feet. Flexibility in the sole below the ball of the foot ensures repeated, fast forward movements for speedy reaction on the court.

If you play on hard courts, you will need sole with greater tread. But for soft courts, you should wear a softer soled shoe that offers greater traction.

Cross Trainers

Cross trainers or cross-training shoes are flexible and versatile, they can be used for more than one sport or activity. Most cross trainers can participate in virtually all the sports activities mentioned above.

A good cross-training shoe should have in the forefoot required for running and lateral control essential for tennis or aerobics.

Athletics are advised against using one shoe for various sports. Although you don’t necessarily need to get a different pair of shoes for each activity you partake.

But it is recommended that you wear sport-specific shoes if you play or participate in a sporting activity for more than three times in a week. For instance, if you play football for more than three times in a week, it is not advisable you use the same shoe for other sports such as running, baseball, etc.

Moreover, you may need to get a special shoe to address certain ankle and foot problems. Athletic shoes are technically designed to support the athlete and also prevent potential injuries. For instance, if your ankles turn easily, you will need to get a shoe with a wide heel.

  • A shoe with a better shock absorption technology will be of great assistance to you especially if you have trouble with shin splints.
  • A board-lasted shoe comes with the ‘upper’ leather or canvas sewn together with a cardboard-like material. This type of shoe gives more support to a flat-footed person.
  • A slip-lasted shoe is made after sewing the upper just like a traditional native North American shoe and then sticking it to the sole area. This method has helped to make lightweight and flexible shoes that have no turning or twisting rigidity.
  • A combination-lasted shoe has the benefits of other shoes. It is board-lasted at the back and slip-lasted at the front. They offer good heel control but they stay flexible in the front below the ball of the foot. These shoes are great for a plethora of foot types.

What Should I Do If I Develop Foot Problems?

athletic sneakers

If you notice that you are beginning to develop ankle or foot problems, there are things that you can do to ease the pains and relieve the symptoms. Some of these gadgets are available and can be acquired without a prescription.

  • Arch Support (Orthosis):  This device helps to treat the pain in the arch area of the foot. Arch support is constructed from various materials, you can place them in your shoe after taking them off from the removable inner sole (insole) that comes with the shoe.
  • Custom Arch Support: These devices are necessary for people whose foot problems are complicated. Also, it is recommended for people with chronic and long-term foot problems including turf toe, high arches, shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, flat foot, and severe foot pains. Custom arch supports are specifically made inserts that provide relief to a particular area while helping other areas.
  • Heel cup: This device helps to alleviate and relieve the pain underneath the heel including plantar fasciitis. The heel cup is made of runner or plastic, they are designed to provide support to the area around the heel while relieving pressure under the tender spot.
  • Metatarsal Pad: A metatarsal pad is another device that can relieve pains underneath the ball of other toes (metatarsalgia). They are from a firm rubber and the flat side of the pad is sticky. They’re attached to the inner sole behind the tender area (aware from the toes or close to the heels). The pad relieves pressure under the tender spot and they take part in sharing the pressure placed on the ball of the foot.

TopTenBestReview offers information on this website as an educational service. This content, including the images and text serve informational purposes only. It should not be misconstrued as a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment. If you need medical advice & treatment, look for a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon. Pedorthists and orthotics can also help to address your foot problems.

We hope that this post has helped you to choose the best athletic shoes for your feet.

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