Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Quest for the Perfect Athletic Shoe

Friday March 1, 2013: The Research Phase
I thought conducting a Google search for "Can you use running shoes for walking?" was a silly question to ask, but as the old saying goes- the only silly questions are the ones not asked!  Apparently, buying the wrong shoe for the wrong activity can have an impact.  So, can you wear running shoes for walking?  I found an informative article online provided by WedMd (which is a Health on the Net Foundation Certified site) that summarizes the importance of choosing the best work out shoe.  According to WebMD, walking shoes differ from running shoes.  It basically comes down to the physiology of walking versus running.  Walking involves primary impact in the heel area while running involves primary impact in the forefoot.  So when choosing an athletic shoe for the purpose of a specific activity, it's important to take into consideration the areas of the foot that will be embracing high degrees of impact.  These are the areas you want to assure your foot wear is supported to reduce impact stress which over time can lead to health complications affecting more than just the anatomical structures of the foot but the entire body. 

So in my quest to find the perfect shoe, I must consider the activity I'll mostly be encountering while wearing my new shoes.  I am not a runner.  That is one thing for sure.  I do not enjoy running and have no intention of doing it.  I walk every day on a level ground surface with my husband and dog.  We generally walk about 1.5 to 2 miles a day rain or shine (unless there's lightening, of course.)  I just recently purchased a manual treadmill (InMotion's T900) from which has an incline.  Walking a good fifty minutes on the manual treadmill is what I consider a vigorous work out and comparable to hiking up one of the many mountain trails in the Great Smoky Mountains.  As a dancer, I am prone to walking on the forefront of my foot.  These are all considerations I must take into account when determining the areas of support a shoe must have to suit my needs.

Saturday March 2, 2013: My Shoe Shopping Experience
This weekend, I went out on a quest to find this perfect shoe.  I went into this experience with the knowledge that I would be looking for a "walking" shoe.  The first store I went to was Dick's Sporting Goods.  After searching through the selection, a sales associate informed me that they do not sell walking shoes.  The next store I went to was Footlocker.  The sales associate at this store was unfamiliar with the difference between a walking and running shoe so he consulted with his manager.  Upon consulting with his manager, he came back and told me that they also do not sell just walking shoes.  He did recommend I try another store called the Rack Room.  I meandered on over to the Rack Room and the sales associate at this store was able to direct me to foot wear that would better accommodate my needs.  I was able to find only one pair of walking shoes at this store.  Upon browsing through the selections at this store, my husband pointed out an interesting looking shoe he believed might satisfy my desire for heel support.  The shoe he choose was not one I would have thought to try out.  Once I put this shoe on, I realized I'd found the shoe I was looking for.  After leaving to search in a couple other stores, I ended up returning to the Rack Room and purchasing those pair of shoes.  My husband even got himself a pair as they were having a Bogo sale.  The shoes I instantly fell in love with are Reebok's ZigTech ZigKicks in size 6.5 color gravel, yellow, and berry.
This shoe has received great reviews.  It feels supportive of my entire foot and the heel area is cushioned.  One reviewer even mentions it feels like they are walking on pillows, which is exactly the comment my husband made on our post purchase walk this evening.  The one thing I did notice with this shoe is it makes a squishy noise.  I felt like I was in the classic SEGA alien video game Toe Jam and Earl as they often made squishy noises as they walked (sorry old school 90s gamer analogy).  The noise isn't anything overly annoying and probably wouldn't have been something I'd noticed if my husband didn't say anything.  Overall, I'm very pleased with this shoe and I feel like my feet and my joints impacted by walking will benefit greatly from this purchase. 

No comments:

Post a Comment