The Importance of wearing the correct shoes at the gym.

Have you ever finished a particular workout or come out of a specific class and thought to yourself, ‘I’m not doing that again, it hurts my knees/back/hips’ etc? Have you considered that it may be the type of shoe that you are wearing is to blame?

During your workouts your feet are pushed to their limit. They are pounding treadmills, jumping, skipping, stepping, dancing, lifting, keeping your balance and taking a serious amount of impact. There is nothing worse than trying to work out when you are experiencing pain and discomfort, and also risking possible injury. Wearing inappropriate shoes can cause serious damage to muscles, tissue, bones and joints throughout the body. This can needlessly derail your fitness or weight loss goals, so investing in a quality pair of shoes is a must.

Most labels make their shoes in a wide array of styles and for many specific purposes, i.e. walking, running etc. To improve your workout try and buy shoes specific to the activity you will be using them for.  For example, if you are a runner you will already know the importance of investing in a pair of high quality running shoes. Running shoes have additional cushioning to absorb shock as your foot hits the ground which helps to reduce blisters. Traditional running shoes are designed for forward motion so will not support you well for multi-directional movements or sports, for example step aerobics or basketball. Barefoot running or natural running have become increasingly popular in recent years. These shoes are very light and flexible and have very little cushioning or support. Cross training shoes are great for people who have a varied workout routine and attend different classes. This is the most versatile athletic shoe, designed to give more support for changes in direction and impact making them a good choice for people who like to mix it up. Specialty shoes exist for weightlifting, cycling, hiking, basketball, soccer etc. If you participate in these activities several days per week, it may be worth your while buying a sports specific shoe to fit your needs. These days all trainers are clearly labelled in stores according to their purpose, making it easier to choose a shoe according to your needs.

Remember 25% of the bones in your body are in your feet. If any of these bones are misaligned, your entire body could be affected. This may manifest itself in knee, hip or lower back problems. So although it may be tempting to choose a less expensive shoe from any old store, you could be doing yourself more harm than good. You could be facing much more expense in doctor/physio bills if you yourself damage.

Treat your feet, they deserve it!