How To Find the Perfect Fitness Shoe

Attending FitBloggin’ has been nothing short of an incredible experience. In just three days I made new friends, talked (blog) shop, and broke more than a few sweats in all types of new-to-me fitness classes!

As I finish packing up my stuff to get ready to head towards the airport, I am leaving this adventure feeling inspired and ready to put everything I learned to good use. I have an abundance of positive energy flowing, and can’t wait tell you all about it!

First, I wanted to dedicate this post to a topic I mentioned in yesterday’s post that a handful of you expressed interest in: how to find the perfect fitness shoe.

Reebok shoes at FitBloggin 13

How do you decide on which type of running or training shoe to buy?

If your answer is based around colors or design attractiveness, then you might want to read on. Just like any other type of footwear, fitness shoes come in all different shapes and sizes, and are designed for specific purposes to enable you to have the best workout experience possible.

Although each brand is different, the base of what is covered below could be applied to any type of fitness shoe line.

How to Find the Perfect Shoe, By Reebok

As a huge sponsor, Reebok had the entire FitBloggin’ conference living with fire. They sponsored a Cardio Dance class, a CrossFit class, and even held a presentation on the do’s and don’t’s of running, training, walking, and dance shoe purchasing.

Our on-site Reebok shoe expert, Chris, did a wonderful job presenting not only the different lines of their shoes, but what the difference actually is between them. Finally, I feel like I have a good understanding of basic athletic shoe design.

My main conclusion? Know what you are looking for in a fitness shoe.

If you are a runner, you need to find the running shoe that is best for YOU. If you are a dancer, you need a flexible workout shoe with the right amount of cushion and type of material that allows you to control your movements. It may seem like common sense, but there is so, so much more to it than what is obvious.

Here are my notes!

 #1 Tip: Get a Gait Analysis.

Reebok Shoe Discussion FitBloggin 2013

The gait cycle of a runner is the order of how the foot lands during a run: heel, midfoot, toe.

A gait analysis gives you feedback on your form. Most running specialty stores will do a basic analysis your stride for free. Here is a great article on what to expect in a gait analysis, via Fitsugar.com.

All runners have different strides. If you are unsure of what kind of runner you are, you can watch these informative videos on neutral runners, runners who over-pronate, and runners who under-pronate via Runnersworld.com.

Here is a breakdown of the four different types of Reebok fitness shoes.

Running:

Example: Reebok ONE Cushion Series – (read my review!)

This specific shoe is built from back to front. There are three density zones to help your foot act as efficiently as possible. Materials in the upper change throughout the design of shoe.

• Minimalism – Barefoot Running

Although Reebok does not sell barefoot running shoes, they have designed a line with a flexible, natural feel.

Example: Real Flex Shoe

This is a zero drop shoe, which means there is no change in drop from where your heel is to where your toe is.

• What is Difference Running vs. Cross Training Shoes?

Running shoes are built to run in one direction, while cross training shoes are built to move in multiple directions. Cross trainers do not have as much cushion, but are more stable.

Training:

Example: Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0

This shoe was designed for CrossFit, but is built to sustain different training activities. There is not a lot of cushioning (opposed to a running shoe). The mid-sole material is a flattened platform, which makes it thinner. This allows your foot to lay flatter and closer to the ground, making it more stable. This type of shoe will have a carbon rubber on the bottom to help you move laterally.

Walking:

Example: Reebok EasyTone Lead

Walking shoes are good for trailblazing and hiking, (not running). They are uniquely constructed for how your foot connects with the ground. They are made with multiple densities, which are tougher in heel.

Dance:

Example: Dance UR Lead Mid – (read my review!)

Dance shoes are built with four critical dance movements in mind.

1. Forward & Backward: Forefront Grip: Specific rubber placement for traction while on the ball of your foot.

2. Side to Side: Flex Groves: Uniquely angled flex grooves based on foot movement.

3. Jumps & Stomps: Reebok’s softest and most responsive mid-sole compound.

4. Turns & Spins: Pivot Point & Turn Zone: Circular rubber insert for enhanced traction surrounded by directional siping details to keep movement smooth.

Q&A:

I participate in multiple types of activities and training. What type of shoe should I get if I want to go the gym to run on a treadmill and then weight train?

Everybody has their own answer and opinion. Our on-site Reebok shoe expert, Christopher, recommends a CrossFit shoe, if you aren’t concerned about having a lot of cushioning.

Should my sizing change when I purchase running shoes?

Everybody’s preference is different, and you don’t necessarily need to go up dramatically in size for a running shoe. Generally, a half-size up is enough to give you a little extra room.

———————————————————————-

Did you find any of this information useful? It sure helped me out. For the first time… ever… I finally understand what makes a training shoe a training shoe and why it is best for me to wear the appropriate type of fitness shoe to coordinate with type of fitness activity I am doing.

Questions? Go for it below in the comments section. I will give it my all to answer them.

Don’t forget that TODAY is the LAST DAY to enter my $100 Reebok Gift Card Giveaway

Reebok Gift Card Giveaway

… and my Designer Whey Sustained Energy Givewaway!

Designer Whey Sustained Energy

To those of you who have already entered, (thank you! and) Good Luck! 😉

More on FitBloggin’ and the rest of my time in Portland coming tomorrow.

Happy Sunday!

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