The Selection of a Shoe
I would like to talk to you today about how to select the right shoe for you. We often get asked which brands of shoe are best, and we always advise the main three features that we need to look for are fit, function and feel.
Fit would seem to be reasonably straight forward, but there is often compromise needed around some of the aesthetic presentations of the shoe, or limitation on sizing available. Sometimes, people have very wide feet, and this makes it hard to access good footwear. So, this means we are looking at the width, and the length, and sometimes the heel shape as well from a fit perspective.
We do not want any heel slip, and we want it to fit the mid foot, and particularly fit the forefoot. If it doesn’t fit the forefoot correctly then it is going to impact on the toes, metatarsals and the forefoot. If it squeezes those, it will drop them down and it will just make the whole thing uncomfortable.
Nowadays, you can get different width options, particular in the Asics and New Balance brands. If you fold out the tongue on the shoe, it will show you, it will either be a 2E, 4E, etc.
Another thing to consider with fit is the toe box. The toe box can be slightly rounder, or slightly more pointed, and it is important that you get the right one for your foot.
Fit is something you do not want to compromise on.
Function can be a little more technical. Put basically it means if your foot is angled, which is sometimes referred to as supinated, it means more pressure is going to be more on the outside of your shoe. If it is pronated, or tends to lean in, it means the pressure is going to be on the inside of the shoe.
If you weigh more than 120kg, then you will need a midsole that is more stable and of higher integrity than someone who weighs 60kg, as you will compress the midsole or wear the shoe more aggressively than a lighter person.
So, what we need is a shoe that is in the same function category as the foot. If we don’t have like for like as far as foot type and shoe, we can sometimes get premature wear of the shoe, which can cause balance issues.
If we had someone with a very supinated foot and they wore the wrong shoe, it could magnify the angle of the foot and increase the whole load down on the outside of the foot. This would in turn cause problems with the tendons running down the outside of the foot.
We are very lucky these days to have a range of shoes available to us. Asics is particularly good in their diversity of sports shoes. For example, they have a netball specific shoe, as netball is quite distinct that it is not a heel to toe type of movement. It is very much a side to side, sudden back, sudden front, type of movement, so the shoe needs to be a multi directional type of shoe.
Feel is the X Factor in shoe selection. Some people like to feel the ground, they like a firmer midsole and they like to feel the shoe working hard on the ground. Others would rather run on a cushion, they like the softer and the more cushioned feel of shoes. And sometimes you need to compromise between the feel and the function in order to get your ideal shoe.
Watch our latest video on this topic HERE.
If you would like any advice on shoe selection, please feel free to give us a call, or pop in – we would love to help!