• Sarah Skelton

Do you have the right equipment?

We spend more time in our trainers than any of the others we own, so it’s really important that we choose carefully.


"Think function over being ‘trendy, pretty and sparkly’"

What's the first thing you do when you try on trainers? You probably look in the mirror. But don't be seduced by the style and colour and whether they may make your feet look small and cute. How they feel is far more important than how they look. It’s important to remind yourself that trainers are part of your protective equipment, and not just a fashion statement that will help to make you look trendy in the gym or in a fitness class. The wrong trainers can cause back, knee and hip issues plus exacerbate conditions such as shin splints and Achilles tendonitis.


Different sport, different shoe

You might think the concept of different trainers for different sports is a gimmick to get you to buy more but researches say that the wrong shoes may contribute to the development of stress fractures, so it’s really important to choose the appropriate trainer for a specific sporting activity after all you wouldn’t wear a pair of wellies if you were going to a wedding! The requirements of each activity will vary for example, tennis involves lots of lateral movement and changes of direction, while running is pure forward motion so you would be looking for a nice stable upper and lateral support in the tennis shoe, while cushioning and stability would be more important in the running shoe.


You might think the concept of different trainers for different sports is a gimmick to get you to buy more but researches say that the wrong shoes may contribute to the development of stress fractures, so it’s really important to choose the appropriate trainer for a specific sporting activity after all you wouldn’t wear a pair of wellies if you were going to a wedding! The requirements of each activity will vary for example, tennis involves lots of lateral movement and changes of direction, while running is pure forward motion so you would be looking for a nice stable upper and lateral support in the tennis shoe, while cushioning and stability would be more important in the running shoe.


Cross-trainers: Cross-trainer are often known as the jack of all trades and the master of none so if you are doing anything more than the most basic non-impact exercise and gym work, you need more support and cushioning and therefore a specific type of trainer. Saying that they are often the most popular for aerobic style classes (exercise to music classes).


Zumba/Dance Fitness shoes: These types of trainers support you in a different way to running shoe and are sometimes known as Bloch trainers. They have a split sole (open arch between the ball of the foot and the heal) to allow you greater positioning of the foot for specific moves and designed to protect the knees and ankles in a different way to normal trainers as they allow lateral movement. Dance trainers also have pivot points on the soles to allow you turn or spin with ease. These types of shoes should not be confused with Jazz shoes as these have very little support and are not designed for fitness sessions as they are created with the ‘feel factor’ – this means they allow the wearer to feel the floor which is required in creative dance.


Football boots: Football can put a lot of stress on the feet, particularly when you're playing on hard surfaces such as artificial turf.

The boots can also put pressure on your feet, and it's not unusual for a footballer to develop corns and calluses or damaged, thickened and ingrown toenails.

A good, well-fitting pair of boots is essential. There shouldn't be any signs of pressure on the foot after a game or training session.


Running Shoes: Running shoes are great for running – and only running. The soles are designed to be flexible and to reduced lateral movement (side to side) so that your feet are kept straight whilst running, which in turn helps to reduce the risk of you rolling the foot and twisting your ankle and because of this they are not suitable for games such as tennis which require you to be able to move side to side.


Tennis and squash shoes: When playing racquet sports, such as tennis or squash, it's important to choose shoes specifically designed for the purpose tennis and squash shoes will allow lateral movement which is essential in that type of sport. You will find that Racquet-sport trainers are heavier and stiffer than running shoes, as their toes are built for quick stop-and-go action.


Get good advice

If possible, go to a specialist store where the staff are trained to identify your needs. A good store will ask you what you need the shoe for, what sort of surface it's for, how much use the shoe will get and whether you've had any injury problems. They will also observe you running or walking in the shoe, possibly on a treadmill whilst filming your feet at the same time to understand how your feet land and twist – basically gait analysis.


Shop smart

Save your trainer shopping for the afternoon because your feet swell during the day, so this will ensure you don't buy trainers that are too small. It’s always a good idea to take your current trainers with you as a guide to what you have been wearing as the wear pattern on the sole will give the advisor some invaluable information about your gait and whether or not it was an appropriate trainer for you. Tip: take sports socks with you (don’t wear your winter woolly ones!) as this will also make a difference to the purchase.


#trainers #sportshoes #exercise #fitness #footwear

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© 2019 by Healthy Living with Sarah

*Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that all content shown in the recipes and in any articles (including exercise content)is correct, it should only be used as a guideline. If you are unsure as to whether any content is suitable for you, you should seek advice from a medical practitioner first.