What To Look For When Buying Sneakers
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What to Look for When Buying Sneakers
Update: This sneaker buying guide has been updated as part of our 2021 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards. You can see all of this year’s award winners here. Let’s begin by acknowledging that the best way to find the right sport-specific shoe for you is probably not through an online search. It’s from going to a specialty store—like a running-gear store if you’re looking for running shoes—and getting fitted by the professionals who work there. “Your foot is just like your fingerprint; it’s unique to you. Every single shoe is going to be contoured differently and have different sensations, ” Geoff Burns, Ph. D., a researcher at the Michigan Performance Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan and a competitive ultrarunner, tells SELF. “Going somewhere where you can have somebody who sees thousands of feet a month talk to you very frankly about these things” and then trying a bunch of different options is key, he says. Whether you’re planning to visit a store IRL or hoping to buy online, doing research on what to look for and which questions to ask can be very helpful. That’s one reason we made this guide to buying other reason is for our 2021 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards, where we test dozens of the latest shoe releases to award our favorites with our SELF Certified seal of approval. For the awards, we asked experts, including Burns, physical therapist Steph Dorworth, DPT, and Kate Reese, general manager of Brooklyn Running Company, about what to look for in a shoe, and then rigorously evaluated all of the entries based on their criteria. Then we took a lot of notes—how we tested, how the shoe performed for different runners, and how it matched with our own specific foot shapes—and scored each shoe based on testers’ thorough evaluations. So while shoe shopping is personal and your favorites may be different from someone else’s (including ours! ), our SELF Certified Sneaker Awards are an excellent place to find a shoe that works for you. You can find all our 2021 Sneaker Award winners here. Read on for more about what our experts say to look for when buying a eaker Evaluation Criteria(Overall criteria for running, walking, hiking, cycling, cross-training, or weight-lifting shoes)Fit Our experts said that while it’s important to evaluate the fit of a pair of shoes by first putting them on and standing in them in the socks you’d normally wear, you also need to perform the specific activity you’re buying them for. “Sometimes an option will feel perfect standing or even walking but reveal deficiencies or fit issues after a few minutes of running, ” Reese says. A well-fitting shoe should feel secure around your heel, without slippage. A running or walking shoe should have plenty of space for your toes to wiggle, and you’ll probably want to size up from your normal shoe size for running shoes, since “your foot moves much more dynamically when you’re running than when you’re walking, ” Burns says. For cycling shoes, your shoes should fit snugly but with adequate toe space. Any sport-specific shoe you’re shopping for should have about a half-inch of room from your big toe to the tip of the shoe, according to our experts (make sure you size according to your largest foot if one is bigger than the other, notes Dorworth). You should not feel any pressure points when performing your activity. When evaluating shoes, we took all of this into of the Shoe Our experts agreed that the shape of the shoe should mimic the shape of your foot for the best fit. Burns calls it mapping to your foot, while Reese notes that any sneakers should feel like an “extension of your foot. ” We evaluated the shape of a shoe and how it mapped with our foot shape, which we also made sure to describe in our reviews. We noted whether the shoe has a narrow or wide toe box, arch support, or anything else we felt was relevant to how it maps to a foot of the Shoe Is the shoe cushioned or more firm (responsive)? Does the arch of the shoe feel supportive or obtrusive? Do you feel like you’re fighting the shoe to find a comfortable rhythm? Our experts say that all of these features are important when evaluating a shoe, both for comfort and for injury prevention. “Your anatomy and biomechanics can make you more prone to injury, but wearing the right shoes for you can make you less prone to injury, ” Dorworth says. “Buying the right shoes for you will be worth every penny. ”How Your Body Feels During and After Activity Our experts say that one key way to evaluate whether a shoe is right for you is to take note of how you feel after you try them out. Did you develop any blisters, hot spots, or bruised toes during or after running? Did you experience any other pains, like shin splints or knee pain? We take all of this into consideration when evaluating mpany Return Policy Our experts say you should factor in how flexible a brand’s (or the specialty store’s) return policy is when looking for a shoe. That’s especially true if you’re buying online and are newer to your sport and don’t have a lot of experience with the different types of shoes available, says Burns. “It’s really hard to know what’s going to work for you with no frame of reference, ” he says. “Even one shoe can give you a frame of reference on where to move from there. ” If you try a shoe and don’t like it, you’ll have more knowledge about the fit and feel of a shoe (and the jargon that comes with shoe shopping) that will help inform your next purchase—but you’ll want to be able to return of the ShoeThis criterion is harder to test in a short period, so we didn’t use it to evaluate sneakers during our Sneaker Awards testing. But Burns notes that knowing the expected life of a shoe can be helpful in determining whether or not to invest in a brand—after all, sneakers can be expensive. In addition, as shoes wear out, they can make you more prone to injuries, our experts say. “If you’ve started dealing with an injury, look at the age of your shoe, ” Burns says. “Shoes have a finite life, and they wear out unfortunately quite quickly. ” If you’re buying shoes in a store, be sure to ask an employee about the life expectancy of the ones you’re considering, or look up online reviews from experienced athletes to get a sense of how long you can expect to use your shoes.
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Choosing the Right Shoes for You | University Health Service
Wearing good shoes can help you to feel your best and help prevent injuries. Shoe choice can affect your whole body, not just your feet.
Look for shoes that:
Have a stiff back. Grasp the heel in one hand and the shoe above the heel in the other hand. You should not be able to move the shoe side-to-side around the heel.
Have a small amount of torque. Hold the shoe at both ends. You should be able to twist it slightly.
Bend where your toes bend..
Provide arch support. If the shoe does not have arch support, add an extra arch support. Spenco, Powerstep, and Superfeet products are often comfortable. Check that the arch support can fit in the shoe without squeezing the toes or causing the shoes to slip off the heel.
Are wide enough and long enough at the toes. It should not push the toes in or make them curl.
Feel comfortable right away.
When to replace shoes?
Look at the heel. Most people will wear out the side of the heel over time. When the heel becomes angled, it will alter every step you take and can cause pain in the leg or back. Shoe repair stores may be able to fix the heel. If not, replace the shoe.
Running shoes can cause pain before they look worn. This is because they lose the capacity to absorb shock. The guideline to replace running shoes is every 350 to 500 miles. Running shoes older than one year old may also cause pain because of changes in the sole with exposure to humidity or heat. Save running shoes for running only and it will prolong the life of the shoe. Old running shoes can be used for walking.
Consider different factors for different shoes:
Athletic shoes: There are four types of running shoes: motion control, stability, neutral/cushioning, and minimalist. The correct shoe for you is based on arch type and biomechanics. One way to test the shoe is to walk and jog in it. You can also balance on one leg and do a one-legged squat. The shoe should feel comfortable right away and these tests should feel easier in the right shoe.
For court sports, a sport-specific shoe is better than a running shoe because it will provide more side-to-side support. For cleats, it can be helpful to pick a shoe that allows you to add an arch support.
Minimalist shoes are used for forefoot running to simulate “barefoot” running. To avoid injury, it’s best to slowly add time and to get guidance for proper form.
Sandals: Flip flops are good for short distance walking only. Choose sandals with strapstha cover more of the foot and/or wrap around the anke.
Boots may fit loosely and not provide adequate foot support. Adding arch support can improve comfort.
Women’s dress shoes are often detrimental to feet, knees, and spines. Heels alter whole body posture and can cause pain. If you wear heels, pick a lower heel shoe, a wider heel or wedge, and a heel that does not curve in. Wear higher heels when you have to, then switch to a lower heels if you have to walk any distance.
Take time to tie and untie your shoes:
Your shoe will work best when it fits snugly and acts as an extension of your foot, without sliding around. Pulling off your shoe without untying it will cause the support in the shoe to break down much faster.
Shoe stores near campus with knowledgeable staff:
Tortoise & Hare
Shoe repair shops near campus:
Ann Arbor Shoe Repair at 619 S Main St, phone 734-646-2578
Park Shoe Repair on 4th Avenue
Town Cobbler at Briarwood Mall
5 Things to Look for When Buying Athletic Shoes – Showbiz …
Today, sneakers can be worn just about anywhere and are not limited to just the gym or going for an outdoor run. With the number of different styles that are now available, there are a multitude of options out there. First you need to determine what is the purpose of the athletic shoe. Are you looking for new pair of sneakers to update your wardrobe or hit the gym? Below are five things to consider when looking for an athletic shoe.
Your athletic shoes need to be properly fitted. |
One of the most important things to consider is whether this is a fashionable or functional purpose. Shoes should feel comfortable initially and not need to be broken in. An uncomfortable fit can lead to shin splints or aching heels. Knowing certain characteristics of your feet like having a high arch or having flat fleet will help you narrow down the selection process.
Do you know what kind of style you want? |
Ideally your gym sneakers serve a specific purpose and should be limited to the gym. However, with so many styles offering such a huge variety, it’s hard to resist weaving your favorite athletic shoe into your wardrobe. If you are looking for a sneaker that you can wear out to lunch and to your next HIIT class, make sure that you concentrate on the athletic performance of the sneaker first. Once you find a pair of shoes that are comfortable, then you can determine whether you’ll be able to pair this with your non-gym clothes.
3. Multitasking sneaker
Know how you’re going to use these shoes. |
If you work out in a variety of ways, investing in a cross-training sneaker is the best option if are looking to only make one purchase. However, running sneakers should be an entirely separate purchase. When looking for a cross-trainer, you want to make sure you try the shoes on in-store and test out several different pairs. Not all cross trainers are made the same, so making sure they are suitable is key before leaving the store. Your big toe should not be pressed against the top of the sneaker, there should be at least a thumbnail’s length of space and the heel should feel supported. Don’t be afraid to actually walk a bit in the store with the sneakers on; it will give you a good idea of how they may feel on a daily basis.
A good pair will be durable. |
For outdoor lovers that like to train outside, purchasing a sneaker that can handle the outdoors is your best bet. Outdoor running sneakers take more of a beating in comparison to sneakers made for indoor training. Make sure that your footwear can handle the demands of the outdoors such as climate change and unpaved payment.
5. Price point
Make sure your pair of choice is within your budget. |
Keep in mind that if you are looking for a sneaker that will not only last but provide the needed support, you may be spending more than usual. According to a survey, the average price point for a pair of men’s sneakers is around $65, which is pretty affordable. Expect this price to either go up or down when you factor in the season, designer, and the extras like glow in the dark soles or speedometer trackers. And sport-specific kicks also tend to be pricier (we’re looking at you, running shoes).
Frequently Asked Questions about what to look for when buying sneakers
How do I choose the right sneakers?
Look for shoes that:Have a stiff back. Grasp the heel in one hand and the shoe above the heel in the other hand. … Have a small amount of torque. Hold the shoe at both ends. … Bend where your toes bend..Provide arch support. … Are wide enough and long enough at the toes. … Feel comfortable right away.
When shopping for athletic shoes What are the five 5 things you should consider?
Below are five things to consider when looking for an athletic shoe.Fit. Your athletic shoes need to be properly fitted. … Style. Do you know what kind of style you want? … Multitasking sneaker. Know how you’re going to use these shoes. … Durability. A good pair will be durable. … Price point.Dec 5, 2017