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We all know exercise is vital for a long and healthy life, but it’s important to do it in the right way. Whether you’re going for a gentle stroll or powering through an energetic workout at the gym, the correct footwear is essential.

The right sports shoes will greatly enhance your performance and enjoyment. Get it wrong and you risk all sorts of painful problems. There’s a huge amount to choose from and one type won’t be suitable for everything. Look for something to fit your activity and you’ll avoid unnecessary injuries. 

Gym Shoes

Cross-trainers are ideal for the gym, as they’re versatile enough to deal with a variety of activities. The soles have good grip and cushioning, and there’s decent ankle support. Sturdy construction gives good protection, however you chose to work out. Aerobic classes, interval training and resistance activities will all work with these types of sports shoe.

If you’re doing a lot of weightlifting there are specialist shoes for this activity. Weightlifting requires extra ankle support and overall stability, so the correct shoes will give you the necessary protection. They’ll also ensure your body is aligned correctly, which is vital for protecting your knees.   

Court Sports

If tennis, squash, basketball, or any court-based activity is your thing, it’s best to wear shoes specifically designed for these sports. Court shoes accommodate constant lateral movement and changes of direction, and provide good traction. The toes are constructed to protect you during continual stop/start movements and there’s plenty of mid-foot support.


Running shoes are designed for forward motion on hard, flat surfaces such as roads, pavements and running tracks. They’re lightweight and flexible, which helps with shock absorption, and there’s also plenty of cushioning. Thicker heels and an arched sole will increase stability and control.

If you’re heading to the hills for a spot of off-road running you’ll encounter a variety of uneven surfaces. Road running shoes won’t do at all. Trail-running shoes are much more solid, so you’ll have greater stability, support and traction. This is essential for rocky or muddy surfaces, where you can slip at any moment.


You don’t have to be a super fit gym bunny to enjoy a good walk, but you still need the right shoes to get the best out it. Strong thick soles with plenty of cushioning, particularly under the ball of the foot, are ideal. Lots of grip and good support for ankles and arches is also important, and if long days in the hills are on your agenda, you’ll need boots that are suitably waterproof.

Football or Rugby

Not surprisingly, these are tough sports shoes. Football boots protect against constant kicking and allow for speed and agility. Rugby boots have a similar function but they tend to be wider to accommodate mauling and rucking, where balance and power is vital. Both are fitted with studs to give traction and a degree of shock absorption.

Don’t Let Exercise Damage Your Health

It’s always best to buy sports shoes from a specialist shop, but with so many choices it can still be hard to know where to start. Get it wrong and you could end up with all sorts of painful problems, from blisters and calluses to tendonitis, sprains and torn ligaments.

Not sure where to start? Come and have a chat with us at Feet By Pody. We’ll give you all the help you need to select the best sports shoe to keep your exercise on track, and give your feet a health check, too. Book an appointment at one of our London clinics today.