Last updated: August 31, 2021

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Comfort and style are some of the things we look for in sneakers, but we also want them to prevent injuries and be trendy. The industry has incredibly developed in recent decades, and we now have more options than ever on the market. This is why it can be so difficult to choose the right pair: which option is the best for you?

Nowadays, you'll find sneakers for all trends, and they can be both comfortable and pleasant. New models are designed with the latest technologies to help you improve in different sports, such as football, running or general fitness. And the great thing is that you can also use them in your everyday life! We want to help you figure out the sneaker riddle, so keep reading our guide.




Summary

  • Many types of sneakers are available out there. While some are tailored for exercising, others are simply designed for use as casual streetwear.
  • Whether you use it for sports or not, your footwear must always be comfortable. Otherwise, this may affect your feet and lead to injuries in the long run.
  • When it comes to exercising, comfort isn't the only aspect you're looking for; you want flexible shoes that allow your feet to perspires to avoid potential blisters.

The Best Sneakers: Our Picks

In the following section, we've compiled the very best sports shoes available right now on the market. We discuss their main characteristics and features for you to compare and choose the model that's just right for you. We're confident you'll know just what you need after reading this.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about sneakers

Knowing the most important aspects of sneakers will be determinant in your quest for your new pair. For this reason, we've designed the following section to talk about the main characteristics so that you have all the information you need when the times comes to make the purchase. We also answer some of the most frequently asked questions by past users.

Using the right sneakers for the right sport is essential.(Source: Dolgachov: 35196048/ 123rf.com)

What are sneakers exactly?

They are a type of sport shoes, usually made from leather, canvas and synthetic materials such as rubber, which provide greater flexibility to the foot. Their design allows you to exercise in optimal conditions to help you improve faster and reach your goals.

Here's a fun fact: they have different names depending on the region or country you're from. Some call them trainers, others runners or tennis shoes, or even gym or athletic shoes. The most commonly used word worldwide is, naturally, sport shoes.

Did you know that sneakers originated in the end of the eighteenth century, when rubber manufacturers had the idea of using excess material to make products other than tyres?

Why is the use of sneakers recommended?

You know just how important it is to have the right type of footwear. The use of sport shoes is strongly encouraged because of one of its key characteristics: they help you avoid injuries while you're playing or training. The support required by your ankle and feet during running sessions, for instance, is very specific. Having the right kind of shoes will really help in the long run.

We like to say that there are as many sneakers as there are feet. But the fact that they are all generally structured similarly can make it particularly frustrating to buy the right product, especially with so many brands and models out there. The sections below will help you in your endeavour.

You'll need a hefty budget if you want the very best on the market. (Source: Bernik: 30878178/ 123rf.com)

What types of sneakers are there?

We've already mentioned in our article that you'll find countless different sneaker models out there, and it's time to discover them. You need to ask yourself exactly what you'll use them for; the list below will briefly explain these different types to help you get a better idea.

Trekking and hiking boots: Specifically designed for the outdoors, they present several features and elements to protect your ankle and foot in the roughest conditions.

Running shoes: This type of footwear is tailored for amateur and professional runners; its flexibility contributes to improving your stride. Nowadays, these models are elegant both in design and colour, making them perfect for everyday wear too.

Mountaineering and climbing shoes: They will be perfect for you if you practise climbing in the mountain. Different models are available depending on the activity you prefer, like aid climbing or bouldering. All allow you to have a better grip on the surface, and some will offer you specific features according to their purpose and quality.

Fitness and indoor sport shoes: These shoes are designed for the practice of sports like basketball, handball, volleyball or going to the gym. Their sole tends to be adapted to the type of floor, which is why many fitness centres require you to wear this type of footwear to prevent injuries.

Tennis shoes: As you guessed from their name, they are made to play tennis. Again, the sole of these shoes is designed for the type of court, be it clay, grass or concrete.

Golf shoes: This footwear presents very specific characteristics: a durable sole to withstand long playing days, as well as watertightness and breathability.

Soccer boots: Their grip and studs must adapt to the playing surface, whether it is a wet grass pitch or an astroturf.

Skate shoes: You can use them for skateboarding or as casual wear, the manufacturing materials varying greatly from one model to another. Leather or split leather, canvas and synthetic fibres are all common. The best thing about skate shoes is their versatility.

Sneakers: Most men opt for this option when it comes to casual sportswear, and their comfort and style play a great part in their popularity. Whether you're an athlete or not doesn't matter: you can always put sneakers on.

How can I pair up my sneakers?

One of the distinctive features of this type of footwear is that they are easy to pair with very different clothes. People who have a very specific dress style will definitely find sneakers to combine with their whole closet. But if that's just not enough for you, you can still create very different styles all on your own.

Classic sneakers, like the famous Vans or Converse, are very versatile and you can pair them with just about any style you want. On the other hand, white sneakers and slim-fit pants will make for the perfect modern look.

Sneakers are ideal for a more relaxed style. (Source: Lypynskyy: 43549462/ 123rf.com)

How do I know what type of foot I have?

Foot alignment isn't necessarily easy, as this part of your body has bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Three different arch compose your foot, the two main ones being the metatarsal arch (from side to side) and the medial arch (from toe to ankle on the inside of your foot). Here are different types of feet to help you choose the sneaker model most suited for you:

Category Description
Feet with a neutral arch Their arch is standard, not too high nor too flat. Neutral sneakers, featuring shock absorption and a varying amount of medial support will be ideal for this type of foot. Straight lasts – the shape of the sole and print with which shoes are made – will provide moderate stability for the back of your foot.
Flat feet with low arch Muscle tension and joint problems are common consequences of flat feet and flat arches. Footwear for flat feet should present a straight last and motion control to help stabilise your feet.
Feet with high arches Excessive joint and muscle stress can be induced by high arches, as they impede your foot from absorbing shocks properly. Cushioned shoes are therefore recommended, as they help make up for the lack of natural absorption upon impact.

Which size do I need?

Finding your sneaker shoe size can be challenging, but there are some steps you can follow to get there. Start off by trying the shoes with the same socks you'll be wearing when you're exercising. Another useful trick is to wait until the end of the day to put them on; this is when your feet are most swollen.

Some people have a foot bigger than the other, in which case they should always go for sneakers that fit the bigger foot. Having wide enough shoes is essential, and you should snugly fit inside without being squeezed like a lemon on a hot summer day. If that's the case, "you're gonna need a bigger size".

Did you know that the very first sneakers were extremely basic? They had rubber soles and the upper part was made from canvas.

What should I keep in mind when buying my sneakers?

Size isn't the only thing that matters; other factors are just as important to remember. For instance, we always recommend opting for waterproof shoes if you can, as this will come in particularly handy on rainy days. Shoes with greater grip are very useful if you tend to exercise on terrain other than tarmac.

While accessories don't directly concern your sneakers, they definitely affect their use in the long run. Socks, for example, are something you should keep in mind. For running purposes, we encourage you to opt for a blend of acrylic and synthetic fabrics rather than the cheapest option available. They will help you be more comfortable and avoid bad smells.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of sneakers?

Here's a quick pros and cons list of this kind of shoes:

Advantages
  • Fun and variety
  • Sensation of well-being
  • Feeling faster and more capable
  • They highlight your style
Disadvantages
  • One type of sneakers per sport
  • Frequently need to be renewed

Shopping Criteria

There are various key factors that you need to taking into account when you're in the process of finding the perfect fit for your foot. In the following section, we look at these aspects and detail their importance, so that you can make the right decision when buying your very own sneakers. These aspects are:

Quality

Good quality footwear is essential if you want to avoid injuries and unnecessary suffering of your feet. Beyond that, the right sneakers also contribute to reaping all the benefits of your training and achieving your goals. Good running shoes can help you run faster, it's as simple as that.

Type of material

We have already discussed the importance of the materials used in the manufacturing of your sport shoes, but we can't stress that enough. Going for rigid footwear won't make any sense if the sport or activity you practise requires great foot flexibility. Again, super-cushioned sneakers will be your best bet if you're not a fan of running on the road and opt for other terrains.

Type of insole

The use of insoles can be very beneficial for your body. You'll need to think about your needs in order to pick the most suitable model for you. You won't need the same insoles if you spend long hours on your feet every day or if you simply walk from and to your office.

Many types of insoles are available on the market: from orthopaedic, to athletic, to anti-odour insoles, or even models designed for cold feet! If you're sure about how you'll use them, buying the most suitable insoles won't be another hardship.

Expert opinions

Experts are adamant about the fact that you need proper footwear adapted to the specific sport you practise, because each model is designed depending on the surface on which it is used. When it comes to running, they also claim that the type of shoes you use is the most important element, as it helps you avoid injuries and contributes to your well-being. Don't take your sneakers lightly.

Resume

Sneakers are indeed very important to have when you want to practise sports or other physical activities. We're sure you know by now that there are many types of footwear available, each tailored for a specific sport. Again, we strongly encourage you to get the sport shoes best suited for your needs.

Now that you've read our article, you no longer have excuses for not exercising just because you can't find the right footwear. So go ahead: slip on your new sneakers and start living a better, healthier life – you'll thank us in the future!

If you found our guide interesting, feel free to share it in your social media. Help us help others find the perfect sport shoes for them! We'd also love to hear what you think, so leave a comment in the section below.

(Source of featured image: Yayha: 56199741/ 123rf.com)

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