The right shoes not only protect an athletes feet, but also provide support and stability for the entire body. Proper athletic shoes can enhance performance and reduce the risk of injury.
However, buying the right athletic shoes can be a challenge. The market is saturated with so many types of athletic shoes, brands and claims for “the best”. By understanding the types of shoes available, what feet require and how shoes fit, women can find athletic shoes to suit their activity level and budget.
Understanding Types of Athletic Shoes
The type of shoe needed depends on the intended exercise or type of sport that the shoes will be worn for. It’s best to get shoes that are specific to individual sports, or types of movements instead of assuming that one pair of shoes will suffice for every physical activity.
Many people grew up calling all types of athletic shoes “running shoes”, but in reality, running shoes are made for running and not for the myriad of other physical activities. They are designed to provide support and cushioning for the foot during long stints of forward motion. Within this category, it’s possible to find shoes that are specific for different types and locations of running. Trail running shoes provide extra traction and protection for rougher ground and are normally water resistant. Racing flats are very light but provide very little support or cushioning, so are often used for race day, but not for the practice leading up to the actual event.
If the shoes will be worn at the gym, for aerobics, or for weight lifting, cross trainers are likely an appropriate choice. Providing support for lateral and forward movement and extra cushioning for the entire sole they stand up well to a range of physical activities.
Stiffer than running shoes with cushioning intended for light pavement pounding, walking shoes are ideal for any time that the main activity is walking, regardless of the speed. Hiking boots are make for more strenuous walking that includes rough trails where ankle support may be helpful.
Sport Specific Shoes
Most sports have shoes that are designed specifically for the movements required. Tennis, basketball and squash all require slightly different types of support. Though a cross trainer might be acceptable for the occasional game, for avid enthusiasts, it’s a good idea to fully support and protect the body with proper footwear. Baseball, football, golf and other sports played on turf require specific cleats that are built for quick movements and support during the game.
It’s impossible to buy proper athletic shoes if a person doesn’t understand their own feet. The size of feet changes as a person ages due to the use and abuse that occurs on a daily basis. Arches fall, bones spread and the general fit of shoes will be different than it was at age 18.
Make sure that feet have been measured in the past year for accurate sizing, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s also a good idea to wet both feet and stand on a coloured sheet of paper. This will show where the foot supports the body and help to understand the type of arch and where shoes will wear most. There are a number of online guides that will thoroughly explain what different feet require. Quality shoe stores should also be able to give advice on these issues.
Though the shoes might look great, the real question is about how they feel. A properly fitting athletic shoe will feel snug but not tight and restrictive. The shoe should provide support but shouldn’t feel as though there is pressure in any area. Flex the foot multiple times. The shoe should naturally bend in the same place that your foot flexes. Be sure that there is a thumb’s width between the end of the shoe and the longest toe and that the baby toe is not sitting on the seam between sole and outer material. For long lasting comfort, checking all of these areas of the fit will set the buyer up for success.
Buy Women’s Athletic Shoes on eBay
With a broad range of athletic shoes available on eBay, buyers should be able to find shoes to suit. Use the search toolbar at the top of the homepage and narrow down search results by using the left toolbar once the search has begun. By using the narrowing features, it’s possible to find specific sizes, brands, colours and prices. Though it is difficult to try on shoes when purchasing from eBay, it is possible to find great deals on shoes that a buyer already knows fit properly.