Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shoe them Right !!!

Beginning from today, over the next few columns, we will discuss, what I feel is one of the most important but most neglected aspect, when it comes to your Fitness routine.
Yes…. The right pair of shoes very much determines the effectiveness of you exercise routine. In fact, every activity you do, demands a specific kind of shoe. For example, shoes used for walking are different than shoes used for running, and so on. We will cover the right shoes required for three most common activities – walking, jogging / running, aerobics sessions at gyms.

There are basically 4 considerations that define your choice of the right shoe-

Foot Alignment - Your feet can turn out, point straight ahead or turn in.

Knee Alignment – are they bowed, neutral or knock-kneed.

Height of the Medial Arch under the feet – are they normal or flat, touching the ground

Nature of Ankle Joint – Due to lax or tight ligaments, your foot can either be very flexible, which is not very stable or it can be over rigid, which is very stabile, but lacks good shock absorption.

In other cases, where one foot is shorter than the other, specially designed shoes are required.

Improper footwear can lead to joint injuries, shin splints, lower back problems, knee problems, plantar fascitis, myocitis, muscle pulls and many related problems, since when you are running or brisk-walking, the pressure on the joints is more than thrice your own body weight.

Most of the times, branded shoe manufacturers use demographic considerations while designing the shoes.

However, here are a few things about the right shoe

Shoes should be lightweight, with soft cushioning inside.
Soles should be flexible, yet it shouldn’t be able to bend or twist them
There should be at least an inch space between your toe and the front end of the shoe
Make purchases in the evening time, since your feet swell up a little over the day, and would ensure comfort at all times.
The heel of the shoe should have good shock-absorbing material, since it is the first point of contact as your feet touch the ground.
The in-soles should support the natural foot arch.
Check shoes for air flow—do they have porous fabric or air holes to ensure good ventilation inside?
Place the shoe on the floor and push it forward. If it easily slides forward, then it has poor tread design or smooth bottom and can lead to slips and falls.

No comments: