Imagine if the Empire State Building was placed on top of a spongy, inexpensive, uneven foundation. The entire structure would immediately begin to sag, and the floors would slope causing the floors above to also slope. Not exactly the pretty picture of strength, stability and architectural wonder, huh?
The shoes that you wear during your workouts create the same exact relationship for your body.
A well-designed, stable, high-quality athletic shoe will provide your body with the support and foundation it needs to keep your bones and joints in optimal alignment.
If your foot is in the right position during strength training, you will better activate the muscles that you are targeting. For example, the goal of a Leg Press is to strengthen your Quads, Hamstrings and Glutes proportionately so that they “talk” to each other in a balanced way. Your Glutes are designed to be stronger than your Quads, and your Quads are designed to be stronger than your Hamstrings. These strength differences need to exist in a mathematical relationship where each one is a specific percentage of the other. When this balanced is achieved, you will have a strong and functional lower body that is free from aches, pains and injuries. You will also be able to produce the best force for the movements necessary for your sport or physical activity. Having your foot in the proper position allows you to achieve this.
Here are some tips to get the best shoe for your workouts:
- If you are a runner, where a running shoe when you are running, and only when you are running.
- If you are NOT a runner, don’t wear a running shoe!
- For general gym workouts and strength training look for a cross training or “training” shoe that feels good and comfortable
- For classes or boot camp, find a lightweight and flexible cross training or “training” shoe with good traction.
- For walking, find a walking-specific shoe
- For “all of the above”-type workouts, find a comfortable cross training or “training” shoe that has some ability to run. Ask a local shoe store expert for help on this.
This week’s special Blog content
My Guide to the Perfect Fit When Buying Athletic Shoes
- Do research before you go so that you have some ideas of your needs. I have found that there are store reps that are super duper smart and know their stuff, and then there are store reps that are completely clueless. It’s pretty much a crapshoot so be prepared to ask some questions!
- Once you select the style of shoe for your needs (Running vs Training, for example), the best shoe for you is the shoe that feels like home. When you put on a shoe and walk around the store, it should be yummy and happy.
- Your feet will be happiest if they have some room to move. Choose a shoe that is wide enough so that it isn’t snug, and long enough that your toes do not touch the end of the shoe. Err on the side of a little bit too big, rather than a little too tight.
- Make your choice based on the shoe that is right for your needs, and that feels like home. Do not choose because you like the color or style of the shoe. Your foot health is more important than your fashion.
- Once you make a choice and purchase your shoes, take them home and walk around your house for an hour before committing 100%. If they don’t feel great after an hour, you can always return them and try another pair!
Check out this week’s video below for more thoughts on this!
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As always, I’d love to hear from you. Does this Blog help? What kind of shoes have you been wearing? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below