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How Athletic Shoes Affect Your Training

Choosing the proper athletic shoes provides dramatic effects in training methods and success. Ankle and arch support, inner and outer padding and sole shape all play separate but important roles in physical training.

Ankle Support

Several exercises require a stable base provided by strong legs and ankles. Squats, dead lifts, leg press machines, running, cardiovascular exercises and aerobic training all require strong ankle support through proper fitting athletic shoes. Many sports like football and basketball require athletes to make agile moves like cuts and quick stops. The basketball term "breaking an ankle" provides a metaphor, but also a reality in some cases. Mid to high top shoe designs provide the best ankle support and remain a top choice for athletes in training and game scenarios. Shoes that implement great ankle support often feel heavier because of the added material, though leading companies offer lighter models through new manufacturing methods. This athletic shoe design provides some of the following functions:

  • Prevents ankle rolling and twisting while running and performing quick foot work
  • Stabilizes the body for leg exercises
  • Provides a stabilizing jumping and landing attribute

Arch Support and Soles

The shape of a shoe’s arch provides more general foot support for the athlete during training. Some foot doctors prescribe special fitted arch supporting inserts for those who have flat feet or other conditions. The arch of an athletic shoe allows runners to maintain proper form, but may hinder the technique of a power lifter attempting to dead lift heavy weight. Some exercises and training activities that require no movement and fixed positions often gain stability through flat arches and shoe soles. Extreme arches cause tilting or uneven standing, hindering balance and stability. The arch and sole shape of a shoe generally controls the resting position of both feet. New technology and designs now implement sole shapes that require a constant balancing act. Small balls offer fast twitch muscles a workout during every hour of the day. General functions provided by arch and sole shape include:

  • Stability
  • Foot movement and resting position
  • Comfort and support

The Proper Fit

Each sport contains particular shoe model, fit for performing the movements and activities involved. The weight of an athletic shoe decides how quick an athlete moves his or her feet. Shoes that work well for tennis won't work well for football, and vice versa. Make sure a shoe fits your foot shape and length, regardless of the sport or training regimen. Choosing a shoe longer than the actual size of the feet often results in a lack of balance or an abundance of tripping, falling or blisters caused by friction. Another set of problems occur with shoes too small for the foot. A lack of blood circulation causes pain, and so do bunions, turf toe and hammertoe. Bending toes into harmful angles and positions cause these types of issues, which provide incentive to choose a set of proper fitting athletic shoes. Athletic shoes that fit properly provide the following benefits:

  • Helps avoid harmful injury
  • Provides proper function and support
  • Provides ability to complete required sports and training functions

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