One question I get asked quite often is what trainers are the best ones to use and why. Well, the answer is quite simple: whichever ones are the most comfortable for you. However, there are a few things we need to take into consideration when choosing trainers.
Firstly, we need to think about what we’ll be using the trainers for. Through the years, I’ve learned that it’s all about what’s going on on the bottom of the trainer – not necessarily anywhere else around the trainer. Just like car tires, trainers have different treads depending on what you do. For instance, in Formula One, they have wet and dry tires depending on the slickness of the track. Similarly, with trainers, it’s not much different. Trainers are designed to have stability in the bottom, with most of the tread going up and sideways. This is designed so that the trainer has a heel-toe fork so that water can travel straight through the trainer and get out. It’s designed not to rotate too much from side to side.
For instance, let’s look at a tennis trainer or a basketball trainer. You’ll often find a circle, which is a pivot point, about here on the trainer. Depending on what you’re using your trainers for, it depends on what you want on the bottom of your trainer. If you’re out running or working out in a gym, you’ll probably want some sort of cross-trainer or running trainer because the sole of the trainer allows the trainer to move in those directions. When it comes to dance classes, you’ll want a trainer that has a pivot point on it because of the twist that we have in our feet. It reduces the amount of control that the shoe has on the floor. Now, the more it can twist, the less of a problem it is going to have for our knees. In dance, and especially in Latin, there’s an awful lot of twisting that will happen with the feet from side to side.
Another thing to consider is that certain companies seem to have a different width fitting which will depend on you. For example, Reebok trainers have quite a wide foot fitting across the front of the foot, whereas Nike are much more narrow. You know yourself whether your foot is quite narrow or quite wide, so choose accordingly.
Trainers only last about 100 hours of impact work. After that period of time, trainers start to lose the amount of cushioning that the soles of the trainer have. I’ve learned from experience that when I get a new pair of trainers, I actually write on them somewhere the day that I got them so I can figure out how many hours they’ve done depending on what I’m doing with them. I also have different trainers for different things. One of the most important things that I differentiate with my trainers is the ones that I’m walking around with, the ones that I go running with, and most importantly, the ones I train with. The ones I walk around with are just for walking around. They’re sometimes my old trainers, but I want to keep new trainers for training because they have more cushioning which will look after my joints, my ankle joint, my knee joint, my hip joint, and up into my back joint. The more cushioning there is, like the suspension in a car, the better it is for your joints.
For me personally, I know that when the cushioning is beginning to go, I generally start to get ankle, knee, or hip pain. That’s usually my indication that I need some new ones. So, in summary, the best trainers for you are the ones that feel best, but check the bottom that it has the correct tread for what activity you are doing.