As the weather warms and swimsuit season approaches, many women embark on new or heightened fitness routines. A key element to any exercise program is proper attire, especially shoes, but you might be surprised to learn that not all athletic shoes are created equal.
Many people buy running shoes even though they never jog. Instead, you should consider the type of exercise you’ll be performing most often and choose a type of shoe that will provide the most benefits.
- Running shoes are flexible and light, featuring cushioning that absorbs shock as your foot hits the ground and helps reduce blisters. They are designed for forward motion, and don’t provide as much support when you’re moving other directions (such as in sports or aerobics).
- Trail shoes are similar to running shoes, but with increased traction to allow for movement on grass, trails, or other rough surfaces.
- Walking shoes are generally stiffer and somewhat heavier than running shoes, because they provide more support. It’s important because your foot rolls more slowly from heel to toe when you’re walking.
- Crosstraining shoes are the most versatile and therefore economical for people with varied workouts. They’re designed to support your foot during changes in impact and direction, so they can be a good choice for those who played a variety of sports.
- Specialty shoes are also available for specific sports. If you prefer one specific sport, such as cycling, soccer or hiking, and intend to participate in the activity several times a week, you probably want a shoe designed specially for that sport.
- Finally, lifestyle shoes often look similar to sport shoes … they could even be made by the same companies … but they aren’t truly made for athletic use. They don’t provide the same support and cushioning, and should not be worn for workouts.