Buying a pair of athletic shoes based on looks alone should only be ok if you’re buying them for looks alone. If you’re looking for shoes just to wear around town go with fashion. If you plan on using them for a specific purpose, I would choose a quality pair of shoes that are designed for that function. I’m not saying there aren’t visually appealing shoes that do a good job, I just think too many people fall into the trap of going with a shoe based on looks and brand alone. As a personal trainer, I see it often. This approach could stunt performance and lead to injury. So how do you find the right shoe? Let’s talk about it.
- First things first, you have to know what you’re going to be using the shoe for. Both are athletic shoes but a hiking shoe is going to be different than a running shoe. Pick activity-specific shoes!
- Figure out what specs you’re looking for in a shoe. Things like the degree of arch support and ankle support. Are you looking for a thicker sole to cushion impact or a minimalistic shoe? This may take getting an assessment of your foot’s gait to tell you what they need.
- Finding a shoe made with a quality durable material is huge! Don’t let big named brands fool you into thinking they must all be great shoes. They are not. Look at the stitching and the soles. Feel the weight.
- Don’t get trapped into sticking to a certain brand. In my opinion, there are certain brands out there that have lowered their bar on the quality of shoe they put out because they know they have a loyal fan base that will be back to buy another pair when theirs falls apart in 3 months.
Finding good shoes that work well with your feet is important, especially when you’re using them for a high impact activity. I had to switch from light minimalistic athletic shoes to something with a thicker sole with more support. I think a lot of people’s feet need more support than what some of these new super light-weight shoes provide. I also think they’re made with cheaper material and fall apart much quicker. I went to Foot Traffic where they assessed the gait of my foot and matched me with shoes that fit properly.