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Monday, 23 January 2012

Does footwear matter at the gym?

    The other day I was training in the gym while talking to my good friend and personal trainer, Alfredo. As we chatted about blogging, working out and health and wellness, he suggested I write to you folks about footwear. I thought, what a great idea! That's something I haven't thought about until he mentioned it. We must not forget our feet because all movement in and out of the gym with the exception of certain circumstances, is through use of our feet. Now, does look really matter? Should you have the fanciest converse throwbacks or should you find a pair of dusty old reeboks and throw them on even if they don't quite fit?
   The answer is that neither of these are right!  Sure, we have all done it. I remember forgetting my gym shoes in the middle of the winter and borrowing a pair out of the lost and found. That's right, even trainers forget there shoes sometimes! However, if you are going to make the awesome decision to start working out or running you are in luck. With advancements in technology we now have bio mechanically sound shoes for whatever sport you wish to play or training you wish to dive in to. We have cross training shoes (for indoor, high explosive training such as interval training and compound exercises like squats). We have racket sport shoes (which I have!) that allow you to move with confidence without sliding and tearing your knee all apart. These can also be really high-tech and "breathable" with air vents for guys and gals with sweaty feet. Oh, and who can forget, those dreaded running shoes that we spent over 100 dollars on last January which have grass stains on them from cutting the grass last summer. Running shoes are derived to help your running gait. Some are wider than others and lighter than others. So have trail treads on them for cross country running, while others have track spikes on them and are feather-weight.
    As you can see, there are many different types of shoes to suit any style. But you do not need to buy state of the art shoes which look super snazzy. Sometimes a $60 pair of shoes does the same job for you as a $110 dollar pair would. Also, clearance isles everywhere can have $20-$30 shoes which do the trick just fine. Ultimately, there are a few pointers I have for you for when you are shoe shopping.

1) never regret any money you spend on your feet.....As long as it is for activity or exercise purposes!
2) try them on!! I cannot stress this point enough. Try them on and make sure they fit. Sales people will stand there and pressure you and try to make the sale by telling you what you want to hear, but make sure it feels right. Sometimes blocking out the salesperson is wonderful.
3) know your feet. This probably should be first, but that's ok. It's important that we know if we have low arches, high arches, wide feet, etc. feet are like fingerprints and need to be treated with the right fit!
4) go with someone. Shop for your new workout kicks with a friend, just to get a second perspective! Finally...
5) stick to the brands you trust... I trust saucony, they make great trail and cross trainer shoes and are reasonably priced. Also, always keep the receipt, just in case.

Ryan Fahey
B.A. Human Kinetics
CPTN Canada
NCCP Canada

1 comment:

  1. Who is this Alfredo character??? sounds smart!