As a seasoned fitness instructor, (in more ways than one!) my #1 vote for the most important – and most underestimated exercise tool is your SNEAKERS. You might be thinking, “Duh, I WEAR sneakers.” Of all the injuries in our community over the years,sneakers past their “HIIT” expiration date have been the leading culprit.
Unfortunately, a surprising number of people treat sneakers like like their tires; Unless the tread looks old, they’re just fine. Not true!
Our sneakers age from the inside out.
If they are even slightly stretched out, or if your shoes look worn on the outside, they are LONG overdue. The padding and delicate construction inside our shoes provide the precious support and buffer that our delicate feet/joints need to handle the constant pounding, stomping and twisting we do in class.
For those of us who are on our feet a lot, the padding on the sole of our feet get thinner as the years go on, leaving them even more susceptible to injury. In fact, any podiatrist or osteopathic professional will tell you, “If you’re experiencing pain, your shoes are the first to blame.”
If you workout 4xs a week, you should replace your workout shoes every season. If you wear your shoes outside of classes, then you need to replace them more often.
Watching your pocketbook?
Experts agree that replacing our sneakers more often is better for the health of our feet than buying expensive models and holding on to them too long.
While I still lean toward “name” brands, I have been going to discount outlets like Famous Brand, spending less $$ and putting over-the-counter $20 athletic orthotics inserts in them which provide a extra support and padding. (A number of our Mojo friends swear by their custom orthotics which are more $$$)
Even with the “latest” models and more expensive shoes – the liners are almost always razor thin. To protect my knees and feet, I always take out this liner and replace it with an over the counter orthotic.
A few Mojo friends have asked me which orthotics I prefer:
The ones tagged for “sports” are the ones I put in my shoes and all of them have work just great for me. My purpose is simply to provide more cushion as well as arch and heel support.
I am not picky. Read the front of the packages and see which ones work best for your particular needs. Dr. Scholl is a popular one. If you choose to wear orthotics, please remember to take out the manufacturer’s liner that is in your shoe and REPLACE them with the more supportive liner. Otherwise, your shoe not fit correctly.
If you have unique ailments, consider asking your doctor for suggestions.
When Allyson Hotz asked her podiatrist about my “insert”suggestion, he enthusiastically agreed, “Inserts! Inserts! Inserts!!”
Another Great $ Tip…
When I find a pair of sneakers I like, I wait for them to go on sale and buy a second or third pair on Zappos or Amazon. Then I don’t feel as bad when I cycle them out – or put them in my “just errands” pile.
New to Mojo?
If you’re someone who chooses to do our hi impact movements (skipping, jumping), I hope you will please consider purchasing running shoes which are made to minimize the shock to your body.
If you were to tell a store clerk you are buying shoes for a “Zumba” or dance class, they will very likely give you a cross trainer or court shoe. Cross trainers offer support moving side to side, but not enough cushion to protect your body from an hour of HIIT – Mojo style.
Most dance classes have lots of turns, and sudden changes in direction. Mojo choreography is fairly straight forward – for good reason. I choose to avoid tricky, unsafe movements so we can focus on intensity.
Lastly, but VERY importantly…
An injury does not always stem from our workout shoes. Our daytime shoes/slippers or walking around barefoot around the house can be just as dangerous- if not more – to our feet. I even wear over-the-counter orthotics in my slippers! 😊
Still wearing heels?
Check this out...The effects of high heels to your body