Few segments within the multi-million-dollar clothing industry have made such an impact as sports footwear. In fact, the brands that find themselves at the top of the tree have become more than just household names as they battle for your attention and your valuable, disposable income. It's difficult to ignore their message, as they urge you to choose their particular brand over another and not based on practicality or fit, but rather on image alone. How do you get past this onslaught and make the right choice?
Taking Things Seriously
While a large segment of the population will choose these shoes based on marketing technique, this may be a secondary consideration in your case. After all, you take your particular sport seriously and cannot afford to buy the wrong type of shoe for your specialist application.
For example, as a tennis player, you wouldn't want to buy a cross-country shoe with its definitive tread pattern. That type of footwear was built to deal with surfaces that continue to change, which is, of course, not the case on a tennis court. You'll want to choose a trainer that's designed to grip and give you plenty of lateral movement.
There is no doubt that manufacturers invest a lot of money when they create their product line, but more than anything else, they design with aesthetics in mind. These companies realise that consumers will buy based on looks first and functionality second, but to you, this is the wrong way around.
Freedom to Move
Whenever you buy a pair of sports shoes, you must make sure that you can perform as you intend without any restriction. As you try each pair on, go through the motions as if you were in the middle of your chosen sport. If you can reach your goals without any concern and feel as if you're not wearing any shoes at all, then this is probably the right pair for you.
The Ideal Fit
Experts suggest that shoes should never feel either too tight or too loose and should give you plenty of room in the toe area. The heel should be somewhat higher than the toe, although not by too much and in general, you should feel in perfect balance if the weight is slightly to the outward side of each foot.
Narrowing It Down
Of course, these are generalisations and will vary from sport to sport. Furthermore, each individual will have a different expectation, and you should consult with an expert to help you decide. Talk with a podiatrist before you make your final choice.
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