Athletic shoes are absolutely crucial if you’re an athlete. Without the right shoes that take into account your level of experience and needs, you’re putting yourself at an increased risk of injury and a huge drop off in performance. That’s why it’s so important to pick the right pair for you. And for the majority of sports, you’ll be presented with a flurry of shoe options as soon as you start your search. This can be pretty distressing to say the least. Ultimately, you’ll end up asking yourself: how do I find the right shoes for me? That’s exactly what I’m aiming to help you find out today. So with that said, here’s how to find the perfect athletic shoes for you. Let’s get started!
Learn About Sport Specific Shoes
What’s your passion? Is it soccer? Or cycling? Maybe running? Weightlifting? Or any one of the countless other sports out there? Whatever activity your soul burns for, there’s a shoe out there made for it. Of course, you’ll notice a rather large difference between one athletic shoe to the next. A soccer cleat is not made the same way a climbing shoe is made. A track spike is nowhere close to a hiking boot. And, their functions are worlds apart as well.
So, first of all, what you should find out is what your sport requires out of a shoe. We all know comfort and fit are key, but what role does a shoe play for a particular sport? Is it traction? Lateral support? Cushioning? Or is it something more unique?
For example, bowling shoes need to provide stability while also being able to slide for when you approach and throw the ball. Wrestling shoes need to provide superior traction, ankle support, and lightweight function for those really intense bouts. Mountain biking shoes require a semi-stiff outsole that provides cycling efficiency while being comfortable enough to hike in.
How Should They Fit?
Next, you’ll want to find out how to properly fit your shoes. Some athletic shoes can have a little more leeway in terms of fit. Others should be sized as snug as possible for the best results. The key is to find the perfect balance between comfort and performance.
Obviously, the more room you have in a shoe, the more comfortable you’ll be. But we’re not trying to fit moccasins here. We’re trying to give it our all. So, figure out how your sport shoes should fit and follow it closely.
For example, cycling, boxing, climbing, and weightlifting shoes need to fit extremely snug for the best performance. Loose cycling shoes will result in a loss of power transfer. Roomy climbing shoes might result in you slipping off the rock.
On the other hand, some shoes like soccer cleats, football cleats, and wrestling cleats should have some space in the toe area for the best results. You don’t want to kick a soccer ball with extremely tight cleats. Football can require some serious ankle flexion at times. And you’ll often find yourself contorting yourself into strange body positions in wrestling.
So, you get general idea. Size them right according to your sport.
What’s Your Budget?
Now, another important question will have to be how much you’re willing to spend on a pair of shoes. Most of us don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a pair of foot gloves. But the reality is, you get what you pay for in the world of athletic shoes. One of the good things about buying sport shoes, however, is that the price of most are not subject to the whims of fashion (except maybe for basketball and golf shoes).
However, for the majority of sports, the more you pay for a shoe, the more technology they will have stuffed into it. The less you spend, the more they leave out. Sure, you may pay a bit extra for bigger brands, but the quality and technology that you’re getting is often well worth the investment.
But to be perfectly frank, spending more money is not always the answer. In fact, it might just be a complete waste if you don’t utilize a shoe to its true potential. For example, someone who is in their 50s and plays soccer on the weekends should not spend as much as they can on the latest and greatest cleats. Someone who is just starting to cycle should not spend an arm and a leg on a pair of carbon fiber cycling shoes. It’s unreasonable and quite foolish.
On the other hand, you don’t want to spend too little either. A higher cost for most athletic shoes can be attributed to better craftsmanship, which means your shoes will last longer and there will be less chance of injury. Buy the cheapest pair possible and you’re likely going to purchase another pair very soon. And in the end, you’ll be paying even more. Once for the cheap pair as well as the next pair you’ll buy of higher quality.
So, the best advice of course is to spend somewhere in the middle. It’s the most cost-effective and will deliver in terms of durability, performance, and value.