Wednesday 11 August 2021

Choosing the Right Shoes for Your Favourite Sport

 **Collaborative post**

Would you use a badminton racquet to play tennis? They are both similar enough, right?

Although this is an exaggeration, the point is that choosing the right shoes for your favourite sport is just as important as using the right gear. The good news is that there is a huge selection of sports shoes available. The bad news is that this can make it hard to find the right ones for your style and sport. This article is here to help with that!

What is suitable?

Suitable is a loose word. For some people, suitable can mean the shoe looks good from the outside and not a lot else. For others, particularly regular sports players, there are a lot more criteria to take into account. Semi-serious sports players should look for factors such as the material the shoes are made from, and the support inside the shoe and around the ankle.

All these things considered, turning up at the sports store or e-retailer and picking the first pair of shoes that catch your eye is not the best plan. Before you do, consider what ‘suitable’ means for you.

Making your choice

The first question to ask yourself is what budget you have to spend on your shoes. Unless you are shopping at the very highest end, this will immediately reduce your options a little (which is a good thing). You can then factor in what sports you are planning to do, and what your feet are like.

Whether you plan to play soccer, tennis, running or hiking, there will be more suitable options of shoe to fit your needs. Now you have established your price range and shoe requirements, you have already made progress.

The next step is to try on some options, or at the very least look into the specifications of your shortlisted shoes if you are shopping online. Consider your feet – are they flatter or do you have a high arch? There are specialized options and inserts available to counter these conditions that can make for an imminently more comfortable sporting experience.

Checking the quality

When you are participating in demanding physical activities, the worst thing is when you buy a new pair of shoes that are not fit for purpose and they start feeling the strain after a very short space of time. In the most extreme situation, the wrong type of shoe can start falling apart!

Beware, because even shoes that look stylish and expensive on the exterior can be the wrong fit for certain sports. This is not necessarily because they are poorly made or manufactured with sub-standard materials.

Incorrect use of the shoes is in fact the reason for them failing early. Returning to our earlier racquet analogy, even the most expensive badminton racquet designed for a shuttlecock is unlikely to last even one set of tennis with a much heavier ball. Although it may not be as immediately obvious, think of your shoe purchase in exactly the same way.

To avoid this situation occurring, it is vital to look past the outside appearance of the shoe alone. Note down the sports you plan to do and base your decision on that. It is even worth buying more than one pair of shoes to suit different sports. This is especially advisable if you do very different sports such as walking and long-distance running. Although you will spend a little more in the short term, you will undoubtedly save money in the longer term by not having walking shoes fail halfway through a long-distance run!

A final word

Although shoes are a less expensive purchase than buying a car or new laptop, it is highly advisable to try them on before you buy. If you can afford to, look for sport-specific shoes, especially for more demanding sports such as tennis. The high amount of running, turning and changing direction is highly demanding on a shoe, and only a purpose designed option will hold out in the long run.

Even the top-end Nike running shoes will struggle with the rigors of some sports – simply because they are not made for them. Either way, putting some time and research into your purchase will mean you reduce your risk of injury, and play better in your chosen sport. Perhaps best of all, you will save your valuable dollars by not having to pay out for new sports shoes every few months simply because you have made the wrong choice.


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