When the time comes for new walking or running shoes, people often base their decisions on what the shoes look like, and not how they fit or function, what material they are made of, and the application the shoe was designed for.
With the amount of shoes available on the market, it’s no wonder people get overwhelmed and pick the cool-looking ones! But if you’re serious about your shoes and your foot health, I have the answers you’ve been looking for.
What Do You Want To Do With The Shoes?
Strangely, the purpose of the shoe is often a greatly overlooked aspect in the decision-making process. When you are buying new shoes, you need to assess what activities you will need the shoes for, whether the investment makes sense if you’re not planning to wear them that often, or whether they are sturdy enough for long-term use.
Activities that keep you on your feet, like walking, running, hiking, or a job in which you stand a lot all have their own specifications for the optimal shoe for the activity. While searching for the perfect pair of Nike shoes your goal is to keep your feet relaxed and supported, despite the demands of the activity. The best idea is always to try on the shoe you like first, to see if it is suitable for your purpose.
Once you know your “why”, you need to assess the strength and sturdiness of the shoes you like. You would have to take into account the amount of support your feet need, and assess whether the shoes are tough enough to withstand the terrain they will be subjected to – after all, a suburban morning stroll is a far cry from a 5-day wilderness hike! Move and manipulate the shoes to check their structural integrity, and investigate the material they are made of to assess their durability.
Components and Material
Leather shoes are renowned for their strength and easy maintenance, making them a common choice of material for many types of shoes. Another is suede, which, although durable, can require a bit more investment when it comes to maintenance. A handy cleaning hack for suede is to clean them with low-grit sandpaper and to spray them with a protective layer of Scotchgard. Thanks to its durability, suede is commonly used in hiking boots.
Mesh is a popular feature in trainers and sneakers, as it looks good and is light and easy to clean, but can be flimsy in structure, and often not durable.
In-soles are the underrated secret weapon in selecting the right shoe. Picking a shoe with removable in-soles gives you the freedom to replace them with orthopedic in-soles, or special arch support in-soles. Just make sure that your shoes can accommodate the size of the in-soles you want to use in place of the originals.
The basic rule is that cheaper isn’t always the cheapest option. Be as specific in your shoe search as you can be to find the best option for your needs.