Fitness & Nutrition

Shoes are Everything

Think about it.  A shoe changes everything.  A black dress is a black dress, but pair it with sexy stilettos and you have a knockout look.  Pair it with flats and I’m sure you look cute and put together, but it’s lost its “wow factor.”  We could examine every aspect in how a shoe changes the look of an outfit, but my hopes are that you already know all this.

What about working out?  Did you know it does matter what shoes  you wear?

There is a reason why shoe stores have such extensive types of shoes, from basketball shoes to running shoes, hiking, tennis, and the list goes on…it’s all about your shoes.  Your performance is all correlated with what you have on your feet.

Until yesterday, I had never switched from my running shoes.  I’ve always spent a good buck on making sure I have a good pair of running shoes.  Although I had heard and seen that you should wear more flattened shoes when strength training, I never really listened to it.  Why?  Not because I didn’t believe it, but simply because I’d rather spend my money on a cute pair of boots or 5 pairs of strappy sandals than one more pair of sneakers for the gym.  BUT I went to the shoe store the other day and invested in shoes for strength training and let me tell you what a difference it made in my work out!

Not only was I more stable in squatting, but I could feel it so much more and I felt so much stronger than I usually do.  The problem with running shoes is that they typically have a lot of spring to them (to support you when you’re out running on concrete) but this actually works against you in situations like squats, dead lifts, over head presses, ect.  The soles also absorb the force generated against the floor instead of directing it towards weight movement.  This means you lose strength.  A good lifting shoe will cause your heel to sense the pressure of the weight and in turn, make your legs work harder.  They also keep your heels from coming off the floor, enabling you to really focus on your form instead of pressing so adamantly into your heels.  The bottom line is that better balance creates better stability, causing better form, resulting in better results and less injuries.

So if you’re into strength training, do yourself a favor!  Invest in shoes appropriate for your workout.  A lot of go to favorites are the classic Chuck Taylor’s (who would have thought?).  I invested in these Nike’s, which I love and weren’t to be too steep in price. They come in an extensive line of colors.   Depending on what your workout is, there are shoes that cross categories.  Mine are “trainers,” so they’re not geared for running at all unless you like a barefoot-run feel, but will still be comfortable if I follow up my strength training with the eliptical.  Factor what your workout routine is and what you need, and consider it another piece of gym equipment.  No one wants the shaky machine at the gym, and working out with the wrong shoes is just the same.




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