The world of sports trainers is confusing! There are so many variables and things to consider it's hard to know where to start. So I have asked sport and fitness expert Eleanor to simplify it for us:
Hello and welcome to my second blog for the lovely Zoe. Like her, I enjoy a natty outfit or five (or one thousand) and luckily, due to the vast range of sportswear now available on and off the high-street, spending 90%* of my time in gym kit doesn’t mean I, or you, can’t look as awesome as you do in your daywear. *other 10% = pajamas
Second ONLY to the sports-bra (which I covered a few posts back) in terms of importance to your physical comfort and performance during a workout are your trainers. As with your bra, please do consider spending a bit more money on a decent pair. Your knees, ankles, back and neck can all be affected by a poor choice of trainers which could lead to postural problems, joint pain, shin splints or worse.
I very strongly recommend going to a reputed outlet to buy your trainers. SweatShop or Runners World are both excellent for choice and an expert will help you pick the right shoe for your needs. Make sure you bring a pair of socks with you so you can be fitted properly. If you run a lot you will need a trainer with good shock-absorption, and a nice sturdy sole. For less impactful movement, such as weights, bike-work or yoga, you can go for something with more flexibility.
Support is essential no matter what kind of exercise you do. Pretty please never EVER work out in Converse or any shoe that is flat-soled. Pick a shape that suits the height of your arches – higher arches need a more flexible trainer whereas flat- footed customers will need more stability. Try on a few pairs and if you can, have your gait tested (this will be done on a treadmill). Make sure you try both the left and right shoe on and don’t be afraid to walk around the shop – the last time I bought a new pair of trainers I was in for at least an hour!
It is unfortunately important to replace trainers at least once a year, especially if used every day. I know this may seem extravagant but exercising in worn-out shoes is one of the most common causes of injury.
Best for Running/Cardio – Adidas Ultra Boost (£130).
The Boost truly is the Goddess of running shoes. Insanely comfortable, they will mould to your foot shape after just a few wears and are supported from beneath your feet with energy-returning cushioning. The breathable fabric prevents them from smelling which is a bonus if you use them daily. The fashionistas amoungst you can buy the Stella McCartney for Adidas pair for just a few extra quid.
Best for Flexibility/Ballet Barre/Gym Floor etc – Reebok RealFlex (£45)
I LOVE this trainer for teaching spin, strength sessions and movement based exercise. I have quite wide feet and they slide into these uber-supple kicks like magic. They’re perfect for shorter runs or treadmill work, but I prefer to keep these beauties for indoor workouts as the flexible build really allow my feet to move and breathe in the way a running trainer doesn’t.