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Sports Shoes Buying Guide

Sports Shoe
Last Updated on July 27, 2020 by Ashwini G

A lot of people assume that sports shoes are reserved only for athletes, and that speed walking in your chappals is completely acceptable. It might be acceptable by the group of friends who do the same as you, but not for your poor feet. Not only can it affect the efficiency of your walk or workout, but it can also cause problems for your knees and joints. Irrespective of whether you’re a casual evening walker or a running athlete, a first-class pair of sports shoes is of absolute importance.

Why Should You Be Using Sports Shoes?

Why should you be using sports shoes in the first place? You’ve gone fine for years without using sports shoes. You’ve even heard of people emerging victorious at bare feet walking. So, it shouldn’t be a problem. At least, that’s what you think. It might not be clear, but not using the proper type of sports shoe can inflict terrible injuries on your body. Using a proper sports shoe will help to lessen the impact of the weight on your joints and aid you in the ease of your workout.

So, Does This Mean You Have to Switch to The Sports Shoe Permanently?

Not at all! For leisure walks, including ones to the mall or bazaar, go for your preference of footwear. But for your preference of activity, you need the correct type of shoe. For example, treadmill runners need a very different type of shoe from those who run outside. The same goes for those who prefer walking to running.

This Is How You Know You’re Wearing the Wrong Shoe

  • You’ve been wearing the same shoe for years now (to the point that it’s worn out)
  • You suffer from sores, blisters, ingrown toenails, etc…
  • You’ve been wearing the same shoe size for years now.
  • The arch of your foot aches at the end of the day
  • There is no wiggle room between your toes and the starting point of your sports shoes.

Types of Sports Shoes

This information might leave you in confusion. However, you need not fear since this guide provides you with ample information about the kind of sports shoes required for different types of workouts.

Walking Shoes

It might come as a surprise to you, but those who walk regularly (about 3-5 times a week) require shoes that are very different from those needed by active runners. Even though the impact on your joints is lighter when compared to running, your shoes need a cushion to help reduce the impact of having your foot on the ground for a longer time.

What to Look for In A Walking Shoe

When you are walking, your feet fall into a rocking motion where your impact of weight goes from the heel of your foot through to the balls of your feet before ending at your toes. And then repeating. What you need to look for in a walking shoe is flexibility and ease of use in the rocking motion while still providing support cushion. Cushioning is thicker at the heel while growing more flexible towards the toes. This is why it is crucial to avoid buying a running shoe since the cushion is lesser at the heel and could cause problems for your body.

Type of Support Required

If you’re looking for the right shoe, you have to find it using your hands. Firstly, make sure that the sole of the heel is no higher than an inch above the sole under the balls of your foot. Secondly, grip the shoe in your hand and bend it – it should be flexible at the toes and not at the mid-arch of the bottom like your typical shoe. The shoe itself should be lightweight since it can be a little restrictive otherwise. If you plan on walking through mountain trails or other steep paths, we recommend a waterproof option. Above all, make sure that it allows you to be comfortable. If there seems to be some stress or discomfort as a result of your shoe, it’s not the right type of sports shoe for you. Comfort is most important when it comes to buying a pair of walking sports shoes in India.

From Where Can I Buy A Good Quality Pair of Walking Sports Shoes in India?

In India, you will find many brands offering various options for the best sports shoes. However, if you want a pair of walking sports shoes, we recommend the following brands:

  1. Scholl’s
  2. Sketchers
  3. Reebok
  4. Crocs
  5. Adidas

Sports Shoe Measurements (Length, Width, Weight)

A lot of people tend to forgo this step, some even resorting to force or discomfort to fit their feet.To avoid pain and calloused toes, you should always think about the size and shape of your feet when buying a walking shoe.

  • Length: A walking shoe of inappropriate length, without enough room to wiggle your toes, could cause painful distortion for your feet over time. This usually results in corns and callouses that are formed to protect your feet. It can also result in ingrown toenails and permanent disfiguration of the foot.
  • Arch Type: The arch of your shoe helps your feet to adapt to different surfaces that you encounter on your walk. They play a vital role since there are responsible for the distribution of even body weight across your feet. More cushioning is required for those with high arches, a shoe specializing in motion control for those with flat feet to help induce stability, and more durable and firm soles for those who fall in neither category.
  • Width: Having a shoe that is either too narrow or too wide can cause problems, with friction arising in both situations resulting in raw blisters and callouses. Hence, they should typically be one size bigger than your casual shoes, especially since they tend to swell up after a bit of walking

What Makes A Good Quality Pair of Walking Sports Shoes?

  • Right Width and Length Size
  • Appropriate cushioning and motion control depending on the size of the arches of your feet.
  • Flexibility, especially at the toes, to help in ease of movement as you walk.
  • Lightweight to reduce the weight on your feet
  • Comfort. Comfort. And most importantly, comfort!

Running Shoes

While you can get away with walking in a running shoe, running should only be supported by a specialized running shoe. The impact is undertaken by your body, as well as the support required to allow for the right speed and stability, which can only be provided by a first-class pair of running sports shoes.

What to Look For In A Running Shoe

First and foremost, ensure that you go for a shoe with the right fit, that is specifically designed to handle all the running you’re going to be doing while still providing you ample support. Secondly, go for a shoe that is lighter in weight. This will aid in faster speed, even if it results in your shoe wearing out at a quicker rate. Don’t be afraid to try out new brands. Even if you’re unconvinced, we still recommend that you stay away from running shoes everyone seems to suddenly be talking about – especially when they come with a higher than necessary price tag. Hype always dies down, unlike running sports shoes that have had the same triumphant reputation over the years.

Type of Support Required

A good quality pair of running sports shoes should be able to handle shock absorption from all the running. This is what makes the cushioning very important. Now, in contrast to a Walking Shoe, the Running Shoe has cushion across the entire sole, which makes it a lot less flexible. This helps in aiding shock absorption from running. The shoe itself should be lightweight since speed is an important factor to consider when it comes your run. The thing about running shoes is that a brand or type of running sports shoe that is suitable for your friend might not be ideal for you. And the only real way to test it out is by taking your pair out on runs, and not just mere trial walks at the retail store. Thankfully, with online buying, it is a little easier, as is the faster wear of running sports shoes as a result of running.

From Where Can I Buy an Amazing Pair Of Running Sports Shoes?

In India, we have the fortunate experience of having access to various brands from across the globe. Hence, more than choosing a good shoe, you would need to select the right fit for you.  Depending on your needs and requirements, we recommend that you buy running sports shoes from the following brands:

  • Puma
  • Reebok
  • Nike
  • Asics
  • Adidas

Running Shoe Measurements

The fit is the most important thing to consider when purchasing a pair of running shoes is the fit. Go even the slightest bit wrong in your selection, and you will subject yourself to a world of pain that can impact your body in the worst way possible. Make sure that there’s a thumb width gap between the back of your ankles and the actual shoe. About the cushioning, it is always recommended to go as minimal as possible. This is recommended for those who enjoy the feel of your feet hitting the ground as you run. And with regards to the weight of your shoe, a lighter one will aid you in your speed. At the same, it also means that your shoe wears out at a faster rate.

What Makes A High-Quality Pair of Running Sports Shoes?

  • Handle shock absorption
  • Lightweight
  • Correct Fit
  • The right amount of Cushioning
  • Shock Absorption

Make sure that you use your running sports shoe only for running and nothing else. It doesn’t have the kind of support that you might need when working out on a treadmill or even when you’re walking on a mountain trail. Your outer sole will also thank you for allowing it to last longer. Lastly, we recommend that you don’t follow the advice when it comes to buying a running shoe. The right fit for your running partner might not be the right fit for you.  You can only really test running shoes as you run, which means that the fast turnover should be good news for you.

Sports Shoes for Working Out

This section of the article might surprise you – shouldn’t the good old running shoe be sufficient enough to accompany you to the gym? Well, we are here to tell you no. Why? Because you need to use a pair of sports shoes that will aid you in your gym workout, not hinder it by using an incorrect type of shoe. And running shoes do not provide the kind of stability required for the gym

What To Look For In Your Workout Sports Shoes

Running shoes are designed solely for the forward movement, whereas your workout might require you to move sideways and in other directions, which means you need stability. You don’t always run on your toes, while your feet are usually flat when they touch the ground. This means that your shoe needs to be a lot firmer and provide you with a lot of support.

Type of Support Required

Now, while you require a firmer sole for ease of stability, it doesn’t mean that you should add a lot of weight to your feet. Rather, your workout would require a lot of movement and flexibility, which means that your shoes need to be lightweight. And since you don’t have the outside air to cool down your sweat glands, you will find the stench arising from your unbearable – which is why we recommend that you highly consider breathability to be a very important factor in choosing your pair. At the same time, the requirements of your workout shoe really depend on the type of workout you do. Based on our research, we recommend the following workout shoes for each workout: For those who frequent the treadmill at the gym, we recommend a sports shoe that is thin, lightweight, and flexible. Running on the treadmill is very different from running outside since there is a higher impact on your knees. Hence, cushioning is highly favored for treadmill users.

  • For a bicycle workout, we recommend a workout shoe with a firm sole that grips the pedal as you proceed with your workout. It is also recommended that your toes have enough wiggle room.
  • If you prefer weightlifting, we recommend a flat sole that holds to the ground as you proceed with that deadlift. While we talk about the importance of cushion in a sports shoe, it’s the last thing you want when your weightlifting, especially since you need your feet to be as close to the ground to allow for a more effective workout.
  • If you are the kind of gym-goer who does a little bit of everything, we recommend a pair of all-purpose athletic shoes. They need to be flexible while providing stability so that you can do weights as well as use the treadmill, along with other classes like Zumba or CrossFit.

From Where Can I Buy A Good Quality Pair of Workout Sports Shoes?

For a good pair of workout shoes, we recommend buying from the following brands in India:

  • Nike
  • Reebok
  • Adidas
  • New Balance

What Makes A Good Quality Pair Of Workout Sports Shoes?

  • Firm Sole and Support
  • Stability
  • Good grip
  • Durability
  • Breathability

How to Break-In Your New Sports Shoe?

  • Firstly, make sure that you take the same socks you’ve been wearing while walking, running, or working out to the shoe shop.
  • Your feet are usually at your largest after a bit of walking, which is why it is always better to shop for shoes after a walk.
  • Buy shoes at an adequately designated Sports Shoe shop, since you will have brands and shoes that are specific to your needs, along with an informed salesperson.
  • Ensure that you measure BOTH feet, since your shoe size changes over the years, and your feet will also be a little swollen since you will have followed Step 2.
  • Be sure that it is comfortable – with the right length, width, and arch-size. Women with larger feet should go ahead with options from the men’s section.
  • Lastly, walk in the pair of sports shoes, understanding to see if the fit and comfort make it the right option for you or not before deciding to purchase it.

How to Take Off Your Shoe and Make Sure It Lasts Longer?

For some, a pair of sports shoes can be a bit of heavy investment. Which is why you want to ensure it lasts for as long as possible while remaining in relatively good condition. Not just about the durability, but for a more effective workout, you will want your shoe to be at peak condition. Hence there are a few steps you can take in going about to ensure its longevity:

  • Do not use your sports shoes for anything other than the designated workout. Doing so would lead to faster wear and tear
  • Keep improving your workouts. As a beginner, you will find that your sports shoes tend to wear out faster, owing to improper use. This is especially seen in the case of weightlifting. Hence, if there’s any way to improve your form, be sure to do so.
  • Every time you wash your shoes, avoid using any heat or dryers. Rather, we recommend that you stick to the good old-fashioned way of drying it either by resting it on top of a towel or newspapers. With regard to washing, we suggest using mild soap in warm water.
  • Use at least two pairs of sports shoes for your specific activity. We suggest using the shoes at intervals since this will ease up the stress of the wear and tear on your sports shoes and allow them to rest. This is highly recommended for long-distance runners.
  • Buying a good quality pair of sports shoes from a reputed brand. Although the higher price points might make you hesitate, they more than make up for this through the quality of material used and how it permits you to have a more efficient and effective workout.

When Should I Replace My Sports Shoes?

With the amount of effort your sports shoe helps you to exert for that goal of leading a healthier and fitter life, it is easy to get attached to your shoes. This means that it is harder to realize when the time to say goodbye to your sports shoes has arrived. Here are the signs you should look out for that tell you it is time to replace your sports shoes:

  • When the bottom sole is worn out, and your sports shoes feel flat. A tell-tale sign is if your soles seem to be unraveling – with patches and abrasives appearing on it.
  • It is recommended by experts that you replace your shoe every 500 kilometers. More or less, this depends on the type of workout you do and force subjected to your sports shoes.
  • If you find yourself to be suddenly experiencing pain, especially in the knees, joints, ankle, and foot, it doesn’t mean that you’ve grown unfit – but rather, your shoes in dire need of replacement.

Not replacing it will cause problems in the efficiency of your workout and, even worse, injuries on your body.


Buying a pair of sports shoes can be difficult, especially if you’re used to using your sports shoes for every activity in your life. If your sports shoe isn’t comfortable, it can cause many problems for you. Using this article, we recommend that you buy the right fitting sports shoe for the right activity. After all, as you’ve learned by now, running on the treadmill is very different from running in the park.

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