Proper-fitting sports shoes can enhance performance and prevent injuries. Many problems in the feet can respond to stretching and conditioning, choosing a different shoe, and simple over-the-counter shoe modifications. Right off the bat let me say that Nike does not make the best shoe on the market. Nike has the best marketing team in the business, no one can argue that. If you want to know how to brand and market a business, look at Nike. But please don’t look at them for footwear. Now some people swear that Nike makes the best shoes and I am not going to argue with them. If you run in them and you have no pain and they feel comfortable, then by all means continue. However, bio-mechanically they are generally not the best for your feet. Your feet are essentially designed to do 2 things: absorb shock and act as a lift so they can push your body off the ground. In a nutshell, this is what sneakers are designed to do too.
In the beginning I stated that Nike’s were generally bad, only in the fact that most of their shoes were designed to look good and they all act as shock absorbers so when you put them on for the 2 minutes in the store they feel great. Unfortunately they just don’t feel so great after an intense workout. If you can twist or fold your shoes in half, your foot is not getting proper support and may lead to foot problems down the road. Some of the best shoes are Brooks, New Balance, Saucony and Asics. All of these brands have very good shock absorbing and stability shoes.
How can you tell what shoe is right for you? The 3 F’s of shoe selection can help you.
- Shoes should bend near the ball of the foot and not near the center. Also, a good shoe will not twist excessively in the center of the shoe.
- Proper lacing should allow the upper to fit snuggly around foot to platform.
- Shoes should be comfortable, stable, and supportive while walking and running.
***Check out the American College of Sports Medicine website for more information on finding the right athletic shoe for you!