Not all shoes are created equal

If you think one pair of athletic shoes will suffice for all your activities, you could risk injuring yourself. Some might have support in the wrong places. Some might be made out of the wrong material. Some might not have enough cushion, or cushion in the wrong places. Athletic shoes come in many forms, and you should always examine what you are doing when choosing the pair that best fits you.

Basketball shoes have a lot of ankle support, because basketball requires quick side-to-side movements. This comes from a mid to high top, stiff construction and even air pockets sometimes. The sole is generally somewhat flat, but it has good traction for hardwood floors.

You can find some good ones at Foot Locker, like the Nike Hyperize:

Cross-trainers generally have a low top and are made for general activities like weight lifting, aerobics and light running. They have medium support and medium cushion. Some say these shoes are too heavy for running but don’t have enough support for other activities. However, if you dabble in several things and want shoes that will see you through all of it, cross-trainers might be your best choice.

Under Armour carries some good cross-trainers, like the Proto Speed III:

Running shoes have low tops and front-to-back support for the repetitive motion. The two most important things to look for in running shoes are light weight and plenty of cushion for constant impact. Running shoes must be replaced often if you are  frequent runner. The cushion can break down over time and hurt your joints.

Avia has plenty of good running shoes, like the AVI-Lite II:

Tennis shoes have a lot of support on the sides for the constant side-to-side motion the sport requires. They have low tops, and as with running shoes, they must be replaced if the support breaks down.

Asics has several to choose from, like the Gel Challenger 7:

Walking shoes are designed for simple comfort and medium support. Some keep you from bending your ankles when you walk, and some are more flexible. Usually for casual wear, many people pick their walking shoes based on appearance.

New Balance has a good one called the WW558:

I keep a pair of running shoes in my gym locker, because I like to run on the track at Gregory Gym. Right now I have the Asics Gel 1150. I also have a pair of demoted running shoes that I keep in my apartment for casual activities. These are some old Asics Gel 1120. Whatever activities you do, you should always have the appropriate pair of athletic shoes. A little research before your purchase could make a big difference in the future.

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