By Jaime Rice
Working out and training has been a part of my life for a very long time, specifically running and lifting. Over the years, the plethora of equipment, accessories, apparel, shoes, etc. that are available for running and lifting have bombarded me and frankly it can be overwhelming.
I decided I only needed one pair of athletic shoes for whichever activity I chose to complete for the day. I was under the impression that all the different shoes out there — running (literally hundreds of different types), lifting, crossfit, hiking — and I could go on, were unnecessary. Plus I didn’t want to spend a $100 on a pair of running shoes.
My whole attitude changed last year. I was mid-prep for my first NPC show and was running a lot! My knees started hurting, and it was starting to be painful to run. I decided I better invest in a good pair of running shoes, but which one should I choose? Was I a mid-foot striker? I am an underpronator? Overpronator? There are so many variables determine which running shoe is best for your style of running. I was definetly overwhelmed.
The more research I did, the more I came to realize how much a good pair of running shoes, for your running style, will help or elevate pain. I settled on a pair of $125 Mizuno running shoes. It hurt my wallet for sure, but I looked at is as an investment. If they could prevent injury and make running more comfortable, then it was a small price to pay.
The difference was night and day with these shoes on! My knee pain went away, and I felt good running again. I almost felt foolish for waiting so long to get the proper shoes for running. But better late than never.
Now with my athletic shoe eyes opened I began to look further into the different types of shoes out there. I started powerlifting this year, and realized I need flat lifting shoes. Surely if my running shoes made such an impact on my running experience, then proper lifting shoes would help improve my form with my powerlifting right? Oh was I ever right!!
I didn’t spend as much money but did invest in a new pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s, the preferred shoe of the powerlifter. Why you ask? Because they are perfectly flat with a grippy sole. This allows for weight to be properly shifted to your heel when preforming lifts and squats. If you have a higher heel or cushioned shoe, it will throw your balance and form off and effect your lift.
I can truly say owning two different shoes for lifting and running has changed my performance in the gym and on the track, for the better. Over this past year, I have learned so much in regards to lifting, eating properly, and utilizing the proper equipment for the activities and sports I want to participate in.
There are endless possibilites and options out there for the fitness enthusiast, and doing proper research and investing in the shoe and equipment that is right for you will only enhance your performance. Make sure you are well-informed on which shoe is best for you and look at it as an invest into your healthy lifestyle. I promise you will not be disappointed.