A lot of foot, ankle, shin and joint problems can occur when you use the wrong shoes for training or running purposes. Therefore, you cannot choose shoes without the required comfort and support, whether your sport is basketball, running, baseball, or a fitness-oriented activity like aerobics.
When looking at athletic trainers on the Internet or when considering cheap trainers for sale that are named brand shoes, you have to consider how you will be using the footwear and how often it will be worn. If you are involved in a sport that takes up a great deal of your time, then you need to concentrate on buying a well-constructed shoe that offers a good amount of cushioning and support. If you buy a shoe at a cheaper price, you might also think about purchasing two pairs of trainers that you can switch around.
Pronation and Supination
Trainers are most often sought for running and jogging activities although they are recognised frequently for their use in sports activities that require both jumping and running, such as basketball. Regardless of your chosen sport, it is important to make sure that the design of the shoe fits your gait and jogging or running style. Shoe manufacturers often claim that some of their shoes are designed for people who over-pronate when they walk or run, while other shoes are specially made to take care of any strides that tend to over-supinate.
During running or walking, both pronation and supination regularly happen. Pronation allows for maximum foot movement and shock absorption while supination in the gait assists in propelling the foot forward. However, sometimes the way a person runs or walks is disrupted, resulting in either over-supination or over-pronation.
Why Injuries Happen
While a number of factors can affect an individual’s regular gait, the most common reasons are either a muscular imbalance or wearing the wrong trainers. Trainers that over-support the feet or are too stiff will cause foot and leg injuries.
In addition, sometimes body areas above the foot, such as the spine or pelvis, can affect foot function. For instance, too much or too little hip rotation can cause the foot to land in an irregular position. Not only that, but also pain, injury and other foot problems can affect one’s circulation which, in turn, can negatively affect muscular function in the foot.
Most trainers alter a person’s gait by lengthening their stride. This type of design, in turn, causes the heel strike to be abnormal. A shoe that lengthens the stride while running conducts additional shock through the foot as well as into the knee. Even if the shoe is cushioned with a “crash pad” for the heel, the shock will be felt. Therefore, make sure that the trainer you choose does not offer too much support if you want to remain injury-free.
The idea that some people are known as supinators and other people are known as pronators is simply an oversimplification meant to sell shoes. Everyone who runs, walks and participates in these activities pronates or supinates. Therefore, the reason you may over-pronate or over-supinate is because your shoes over-support your stride. This additional support causes a muscle imbalance to occur.
As a result, any trainers that you buy should be designed to support the foot but not to the point that the gait or stride is affected. Many people are familiar with the scenario of the runner who begins a running program and is seemingly sidelined every two or three months. At the onset, he may experience a twinge in the knee. However, he often ignores the small warning, pops a couple of aspirin tablets, and continues to run. A couple of months later, he is settled on the couch with an ice pack resting on his knee.
It is not surprising then that about 80% of runners and people involved in sports activities are sidelined annually. Some people are curtailed from activities multiple times each year. One book that was written in 2009, Born to Run, blames running injuries on the type of shoe that is worn. Biomechanical engineers who design trainers for shoe companies say that injury prevention is the idea behind a well-made trainer or shoe.
Designers of athletic shoes all agree that to lower the risk of a foot or leg injury or reduce the effects of impact, a shoe that is cushioned and moderately supportive will provide an athlete with a healthy foundation for sports activities. While a good trainer is made to act as a stabiliser, make sure the shoe offers an equal amount of flexibility as well.
Knowing now what you do about trainers and athletic shoes, you may find that it is better to choose a shoe by the fit and feel rather than the brand itself. Don’t get caught up in the marketing hype. You do need a good set of trainers to work out or run. However, you want to make sure that the shoes reduce the chance of injury and are made with an equal balance of support, flexibility and stabilisation in mind.
Avoid a shoe style that is too rigid or does not conform well to the form of your foot. Again, you should be able to walk comfortably or run without feeling that the design restricts movement in any way. Take the time to look at the materials used in footwear and make sure the shoe is as stylish as it is functional. A well-designed shoe is specifically tailored to meet the requirements of the activities for which it is made.
While it is always good to save on a pair of shoes and find a good bargain, make sure the money you save won’t be spent on bandages at a later time. Over-supportive shoes, rigid in design, do the most harm to athletes over time. If a design changes or alters your stride, it is not a properly designed shoe. A properly designed shoe offers both movement and support in equal measure. Keep that in mind when you are buying trainers or running shoes.