Sports shoes. Where to start? Running, hiking, tennis, weight training… There are so many different sports out there, and even more different shoe types. In the face of such a big selection, it’s no surprise that we can get a little lost in the midst of so much choice. However, choosing, and more importantly, wearing the correct sneakers is essential for supporting your body and preventing injury. We’ll show you what to keep in mind when selecting your next sports shoes.
It all depends on the sport. Each individual sport has its own movement patterns, which require bodily support from our feet up. The sports shoes that we choose for a particular type of activity should properly support our bodies. They do so by offering correct cushioning, or a specific profile or “drop.” Depending on which sport you want to practice, the requirements in a shoe can vary significantly. Running shoes require a cushioning sole, whereas hiking shoes need to have a very strong profile in order to offer correct support. Even if you’re just choosing sports shoes to use at the gym, you should consider choosing sneakers based on which type of exercise you usually do. For example, if you mainly do weight training, stability is the name of the game. For aerobic courses, a shoe with a flat, flexible sole is the best choice. Or, if you mostly use the treadmill, it’s best to choose a running shoe with a softer heel and sole.
No matter which sport you’re practicing or playing, your shoes need to fit perfectly. How should sneakers fit? They should never, ever be too small! In the toe, you should have about 10 millimeters (or, a thumb’s width) of space between the end of your toes and the front of the shoe. Your heel and ankle shouldn’t slip; otherwise, you risk painful blisters. If you use inserts or a special footbed, remember to keep this in mind when measuring the space in a pair of sports shoes.
A small tip: our feet change size throughout the day—they become slightly bigger towards the end of the day. The best time of day to try on shoes for size is in the evening. Even then, there should be a finger’s width of breathing room in the shoe.
Sports shoes need to be able to withstand a lot of vigorous use, so quality should definitely not be sacrificed. Pay attention to the quality and finishing of the shoelaces, soles and seams. Patches, appliqués or large stitching can lead to uncomfortable pressure on the foot. Do you plan on exercising outdoors, even in tough weather? If so, then your shoe needs to have a waterproof outer material. To keep your feet dry, even in warm temperatures, choose shoes made of a breathable material like Merino wool.
Read about why Merino wool is a great material for sports shoes in this blog article: Merino wool: properties and benefits of this functional, natural fiber
Just like any shoe, sports shoes also hit a point when it’s time for retirement. This very much depends on how frequently you train in the shoes, and on your individual body weight. In general, though, sports shoes should be replaced either every two years or after 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) of use.
The Wool Cross X is the perfect training partner. The shoes’ soft inner lining, made of Merino wool, wicks moisture away from the foot. This keeps you cool in the summer, and warm in the winter—and makes sure that your feet stay comfortable temperature-wise, allowing you to exercise longer and without injury. Thanks to their waterproof material, not even bad weather can stand in the way of a training session. The Wool Cross X’s Micro-Grip-Sole-Technology offers stability and grip on all kinds of terrain.