In one of my many former work lifes, I was a Sales Associate in a shoe department. It was only for two short stints, but memorable nonetheless because it whipped me into shape.
Not only was I on my feet the entire time, but because it was for a major department that always offered sales and discounts, with the best inventory my job was never done. There was never any downtime, so I myself had to be sure that I was wearing shoes that did most of the grunt work for my feet.
I know, you think “what’s the big deal? Comfortable shoes are one in the same,” right? This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Let discuss the specifics as to why that is.
If you are, or intend to do a lot of walking; that’s to say you will be walking over 3 miles a day, or 21 miles in a weeks time, then whether you know it or not, you are a big-time regular walker. You are likely more fit than you know or wish to believe but if you still find yourself having problems with your joints or alignment, it may be due to many underlying factors, but a good start for correcting those issues is to examine your footwear.
Your first impulse is to get the best deal on those shiny Nike shoes you saw on TV, and why not? They’re on sale and you want to show off your sense of style. You try them on and they are practically giving your feet a warm hug, to say “hello, were new besties.” However, now that we’ve established you’re an avid walker, you can no longer take the path of the average shopper. You are now responsible for making sure your feet remain in top form, to eliminate having to make trips to the podiatrist.
Any shoe department worth their salt, will have shoes separated by category or designated. Your job is to pass “go;” in this case that would be those shiny leather pairs on display that are whispering your name, and go directly to “walking shoes.”
While not always the most attractive of the bunch, they are highly-functioning and you will learn to appreciate them with age. They are light mid-weight, but durable shoes, built to conform your feet, while promoting proper blood-flow and comfort for over a longer period of time than regular shoes. Nowadays, the walking shoes are taking on a more different look, being marketed as a casual shoe to target the active, working professional. Look forward to a better selection of walking shoes for all ages, as more fitness apps, smart phones and watches encourage physical fitness.
If there is one athlete that deserves admiration and respect, it would be runners. There are joggers, runners, sprinters, cross-country and marathon runners, all on either recreations, amateur and professional levels. These finely-tuned forces to reckon with regularly test the limits of their minds and bodies without faltering, therefore requiring specialized shoes that can perform up to and beyond their standards.
Running shoes have a much more wider variety in selection than running shoes, and are more likely to be replaced more often. They are durable, but designed specifically for the beat-down a runner will dish out. Usually lightweight, to not weigh the runner down unnecessarily, therefore the material can handle only so much before getting thrashed for roughly up to 300 miles, which isn’t a lot considering. Most of the work is taking place in the sole, where the pressure of the full runner’s weight is absorbed and then, in a sort of hydraulic reaction, bounces back as though catapulting with each step.
There has never been a better time to invest in running shoes. With new shoe manufacturers springing-up almost daily, there’s no shortage of style and comfort levels. With new developments in technology, shoemakers are no longer just cobblers and businessmen, they are scientists and engineers who have followed their passion for shoes, in a quest to design the perfect pair. Having said that, you can feel confident that the perfect running shoe is out there for you to find, and very likely at an affordable price.
We are in the age of customization, and the shoe industry is no different. There is a shoe being produced for every action we take, and careful thought has gone into the environment they will go up against. It’s just a matter of finding your choice. One could literally Google a specific request for shoes, and find a site offering either the shoes you’re seeking, or at minimum some direction on where to find them. So, do you think you’re ready to select the proper shoes now? Okay then, down on your mark, get set: shop!
Editor´s Note: This is a guest post submitted by Nancy.