Find the perfect shoe for your workout
Using one pair of trainers for all your workouts? Stop! Multitasking your trusty sneakers could result in painful injuries such as shin splints or collapsed arches.
Each exercise requires a specific type of shoe tailored to impact, durability and foot shape. Not sure what shape your feet are? Try the ‘water test’ – dip your foot into water and press it onto a piece of paper. If there’s little or no curve on the inside of your foot, it means you have low arches and tend toward overpronation (your feet roll inward). Opt for trainers with motion-control and maximum support.
If you can only see a small portion of forefoot or a slight connection between the heel and ball, then you have high arches and tend towards underpronation (feet roll outward), and should look for a cushioned sole.
If your foot falls somewhere in between the two extremes then you have neutral arches, and should opt for a stability shoe.
We all love a bargain, but when it comes to sports shoes, cheaper doesn’t equal better – a pair costing £20 won’t be as effective as an £80 pair, so it’s worth investing even if you’re a first-timer. It’s also important to replace your shoes when they’re worn out – most decent trainers are good for around 350-400 miles of usage before they lose their support.
Whether you enjoy a country stroll or pounding the pavements in a marathon, we’ve found the best trainers for your activity. Read through our selection of the best shoes for your workout…
Just because you’re starting out, doesn’t mean you should skimp on a quality first pair of trainers. Look for a combination of good support and midsole cushioning, which helps to reduce excessive pronation and increases stability without adding weight.
Choose: Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 Running Shoes, £70.
If you’re seasoned and aiming for speed, ensure the rear and forefoot are sufficiently cushioned. Your optimal shoe will generally be lighter and narrower than other running shoes.
Choose: Asics Gel Pulse 7, £85.
Feet come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important to accommodate for the width of your sole, rather than just going up a size. Are your feet wider at the heel and narror at the ball, or vice versa? Speak to a sports shoe specialist, who can help determine where you’ll need the most support.
Choose: Brooks Adrenaline GST 14, £70.
These may look similar to running shoes, but they differ in cushioning; when you walk you hit the ground first with your heel, so the heel will absorb most of the shock. Walking shoes are made with thicker heels but are more flexible towards the ball of the foot to help you push off.
Choose: The North Face Sakura GTX Walking Shoe, £79.
For more uneven terrains, swap your walking shoe for a hiking boot with a supported ankle. This pair is lightweight without compromising on quality, allowing for a fast pace and maximum comfort.
Choose: Salomon Women’s Ultra 2 Mid GORE-TEX® Hiking Boot, £115.
Cycling shoes can be up to half or a full size bigger than your regular shoe, so ensure there is ample wiggle room for the toes when trying them on.
Choose: Pearl Izumi Dames Select RD III, £50.57.
Trainers for dancing have a split sole that provides bounce and shock absorption from jumps, as well as increased grip for stability on slippery floor surfaces.
Choose: Bloch S0523 Wave Dance Trainers, £40.