When it comes to choosing appropriate training gear there are a few key factors to take into consideration:
* Usefulness – Is the product going to benefit you in your training?
* Value for money – Is the quality of the product worth what you are paying for?
* Purpose – Is the product designed for what you plan to use it for?
However, most people will choose their footwear based on superficial reasoning such as brand, colours and how well it will match the rest of their exercise gear. All while down playing the impact incorrect footwear can have on training and exercise.
We all understand just how important correct form is while exercising to reduce the likely hood of injuries, however ignore the effects that our footwear can have on the biomechanics of our body during our sessions.
Many injuries such as ankle instability, shin splints, knee problems, hip displacement and even back pain can be due to incorrect stability or support in your shoes. Many shoes will have technology in their midsole that are designed to correct your gait cycle (the movement from heel to toe when you walk/run). However this is not a “one support fits all” situation. Each individual will have their own gait cycle with their own individual roll, whether that is supination (outwards rolling of the arch), pronation (a slight roll from the outside of the heel to the big toe) or over pronation (Inwards rolling of the arch). It is crucial that you match the shoes support systems to your individual needs and movement.
Talking to footwear specialists that have the proper technology and knowledge will make the decision making process much easier, just remember to be open minded and try a few different options, even if it may not be the same as you normally would go for.
(Damien Everett – Footwear specialist, A Mart Sports, Mackay)