An active lifestyle demands high quality footwear to sustain performance. Beyond how you perform, a good active shoe needs to protect your feet as well. From trail running to tennis to hiking, the best athletic shoes embody comfort and versatility to keep you performing at your highest level. Any shoe worth it’s value should have certain features that indicate quality in design and materials. The next time you buy, make sure to look for these features.
Durability- All athletic shoes need to have a durable construction. A well built outer sole provides good traction and shouldn’t wear prematurely. The sockliner and fabric outerlayer should be able to withstand sustained wear and keep your ankle supported. A poorly constructed shoe has little long term value and will not do anything for your performance, so examine the fitness shoes carefully for good construction.
Arch Support- The midsole of the shoe is critical for arch support. A flat shoe with little shape doesn’t provide the essential support you need, especially during physical activity. The foam midsole should hold form to preserve the natural shape of the foot as much as possible. Breakdown in the arches can be painful and is common when you spend a lot of time on your feet during exercise. A midsole that supports the shape of the foot will keep you more comfortable and help prevent foot pain.
Cushioned Heel- The heel absorbs a considerable amount of shock during exercise and looking for a shoe with sufficient cushioning in the heel area is important. Quality fitness shoes and most walking shoes feature a cupped, slightly rockered heel to maximize the natural roll from heel to toe. Properly supporting the heel is essential to keeping your foot comfortable during exercise and help prevent or alleviate heel pain or a foot condition like plantar fasciitis.
Light and Breathable- The most comfortable shoes are typically lightweight and aerate well. During exercise this is especially important to keep you as comfortable as possible. A light mesh fabric will allow air to circulate through the shoe and help keep your feet cool while you’re breaking a sweat. Opting for a lighter shoe will also reduce weight on your feet to save you energy and keep you going longer.
Versatile Design- An aesthetically pleasing design is what drives the purchase of shoes, and despite all of the additional features, style always rules. Having good looking athletic shoes that can be used for numerous activities will not only save you money, but will allow you to easily transition from one activity to another without losing momentum.