How to choose the most appropriate sports shoes?

Each sport requires certain qualities in them that should not be compromised.

An indisputable fact is that the different types of physical activity require specific shoes that meet certain criteria. Their adequate selection has a number of benefits: reduces the risk of injuries and traumas, provides comfort and may even increase the effect of training.

But how to choose? A group of specialists who study the movement of the body in various sports and the load which the feet bear have synthesized short tips about what to look for when choosing sports footwear.

Training with weights / fitness

Here the additional weight influences the choice of shoes. If you only use your own weight and / or small weights, you can train barefoot or with the so called gym shoes that are mostly minimalistic and with a thin sole. Gyms usually have a rough flooring to exclude the risk of slipping and injuries, allowing even training with socks.

The use of heavier weights requires more stability and comfort for the foot. In such cases it is better the heels to be slightly raised, and the sole to be thicker.

Image: © berc / Fotolia


Here the choice of shoes is mostly determined by the pavement, but also the purpose of the running.

The basic requirement is the foot to have stability. This is achieved by structural features that protect against overproning (twisting the foot inwards after contact with the surface). These are the most common and versatile type of running shoes. For people who are prone to overproning or have low vault is better the heel to be thick and hard, and in the area of the arch to have additional support.

Those who are prone to average proning of the foot should select shoes with tight cushions at the front of the sole. Thus they can avoid the stress that the feet receive when contacting with the surface and transmit up the whole leg.

Running on rough terrain (among nature), especially in combination with a gradient requires shoes with a wider sole and large grabs to provide maximum resistance to the foot. The hard soles also protect from stones, branches etc.

Running on hard flooring permits a more flexible outsole. And the so popular lately barefoot running is best to be practiced by experienced athletes, preferably on a soft and safe surface.

Sports, practiced on playgrounds and courts

The so-called football boots – shoes with spikes, provide stability but also mobility, sudden change of direction, sprinting, etc. on grass courts. Most often used in the game of football, but also for many other sports (American football, rugby, baseball, etc.). They are usually mild and with minimal interior seals.

Image: © Amanda Perkins / Fotolia

Shoes for tennis, badminton and squash should be very light and cut below the ankle. It is good the sole to be thin, smooth and rubber. It is important to be white, to leave no traces on the flooring.

Volleyball shoes also should be light, with a rubber sole for better traction with the ground. The most specific are distinguished by design which facilitates maximum the frequent change of direction. They usually have a seal in the front to protect the foot when jumping.

Image: © benniephoto / Fotolia

Basketball shoes must meet many criteria and it is important not to compromise on any of them. It is imperative to be high in order to protect the ankle. Essential is their soles to always be fitted with a system for stress absorption and of the vibrations obtained when landing after jumping and running. They are usually sealed from the inside for maximum comfort. The rubber outsole allows secure performance of rapid movements and quick direction changes.


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