Shoes are more specialized than ever. When shopping for women’s boots or shoes, you have a range of options like ankle boots, low boots, comfortable shoes, cushioned shoes, and more, making it seemingly impossible to comb through the listings to find the pair that’s right for your unique needs.
With so many different types of shoes available, there’s something for every workout and budget. The best pair for you will depend on what you’re hoping to do in the shoe, as almost every activity puts a unique type of stress on the foot. What’s good for running or walking may not be as effective for cycling or backpacking.
Clarissa Rivera of Tao’s Footwear (https://taosfootwear.com) runs you through the variety of options available and how you should choose the right footwear for your needs.
Purchasing a pair of shoes specifically for riding a bike may sound extravagant, but these shoes are designed for maximum comfort and performance and are a worthwhile investment for anyone who takes cycling seriously. There are several well-made options available but the right pair for you also depends on the type of cycling you’re interested in.
Some cycling shoes are designed for use in a gym or city environment, while others are specifically intended for mountain biking. Mountain biking shoes generally provide more comfort and support while walking, while conventional cycling shoes are difficult to walk in. The main advantage of both over traditional shoes is the ability to clip the shoe directly to the pedal, giving you more control over the bike.
Similar to shoes designed for cycling, running shoes are built differently depending on the terrain and type of activity they are intended to be used for. They generally offer a higher degree of support and shock absorption to keep you comfortable for long periods of time, even on harder surfaces.
Conventional running shoes can be used in most environments, but you may want to upgrade to a more rugged pair if you’re planning to use them on rougher trails. There’s also a wide selection of minimalist shoes that offer some support while providing more of a barefoot feel. Since running shoes come in so many subcategories, you may want to try on a few pairs from different brands before making a decision.
The right variety of weightlifting shoes depends on a number of factors, but a comfortable fit remains one of the most important considerations. A shoe that fits perfectly should be large enough to fully accommodate your foot, but small enough to ensure that it doesn’t slide within the shoe.
Weightlifting shoes have different heel heights, corresponding to different body types and exercise routines. Taller athletes should generally look for a higher heel, as should those intending to perform high bar or narrow stance squats. The standard height, three-quarters of an inch, is a good starting point for new lifters.
Hiking and Backpacking Shoes
Although many people use a pair of running shoes for hiking, there are stronger and more durable shoes available that are intended for use on longer or more difficult trails. Many hiking shoes have a higher top to provide ankle support, but there is conflicting research on whether high-top shoes actually prevent injuries.
The right pair of shoes can make a significant difference in your comfort and ability to avoid injuries, especially if you’re involved in strenuous activity. A high-quality pair that’s designed specifically for your workout will help you achieve your peak performance, making specialized shoes a great investment for anyone who takes their exercise seriously.
AUTHOR: Clarissa Rivera