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Discount Sports Shop Or Professional Fitter

Apr 16, 2008
There are three different types of people who buy sports shoes. There are the professional sports people who know exactly what they need, are aware of the pitfalls of obtaining the wrong sports shoes and will pay extortionate amounts for the right ones without batting an eyelid.

There are also those who buy sports shoes that will see no more exercise than hanging out and looking good at the pub. For these people, it's all about the designer label and nothing about the function.

Then there are those of us with good intentions, who try to fit some sort of a regular exercise pattern into our busy lives and buy sports shoes that will do us down the gym as well as see us through the Sunday afternoon gardening. And this is the group who are doing themselves more harm than good.

The fact that there are different sports shoes for different sports is no marketing ploy to get us to buy something we don't need. It is important that we look into buying the correct sports shoes, unless of course, we would like lots of time off work, laid up with foot, leg back or joint injuries that will see us abstaining from the gym for a long time to come.

Running shoes are exactly what they say on the packaging. They are for running alone. They will be flexible for the movement needed and are in no way suitable for sports that involve anything other than running. They do not have the same support that is required in sports such as basketball or aerobics, where sideways movements are more likely. They are also not suitable for gardening!

Running shoes also need to have a certain amount of shock absorption if you want to avoid shin splints. This is a very painful and debilitating condition where the shock of the foot hitting the ground is compounded in the shin as opposed to being absorbed in the sports shoe.

Cross trainers are a better supporting sports shoe that offers more support for a multitude of sports. Court shoes are specifically designed for activities that take place on a court, such as tennis or basketball. These combine flexibility with sideways support and will involve injuries like sprained or broken ankles and twisted knee joints.

Fitness shoes are designed for aerobic exercises. They have the flexibility and support of a court shoe but have excellent shock absorbing qualities.

Without the right type of sports shoe, every time you exercise you run the risk of anything from friction blisters to painful, long term back injuries. A report by the Physiotherapy Association of Great Britain found that over eighty five per cent of recreational sports partakers were wearing the wrong shoe for their particular sport.

This keeps physiotherapists in business but leads to a lot of misery for the sake of spending that few extra quid or that little extra time getting fitted for the right shoe by a professional. Buying your footwear from someone who knows what they are talking about is essential to avoid pain and injury later on. They understand the essential elements in choosing footwear such as body weight, type of sport and the shape and height of the foot arch.

So to round up, make sure you obtain the sports shoe for your chosen sport from a professional who has your interests at heart rather than the school leaver in the local sports discount store who wants her minimum wage at the end of the week. If you do various different sports, invest in different shoes for each - it will be worth it in terms of your health and well being. And above all else, use willies for gardening.
About the Author
Physiotherapy expert Catherine Harvey looks at what to consider when shopping for sports shoes and how they can look after you health.
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