By Mackenzie Kelly
Never undermine the importance of a great workout shoe! Besides looking stylish, proper footwear will play an important role in proper technique and form during any type of exercise. Whether you are looking to set a new personal best mile time or want to try out Crossfit with your friend this weekend, if you are sporting a poor pair of shoes, you will want to perform at your best. A solid pair of shoes should support your arch type and be made for the activity you plan to use them for. Different shoes will have unique levels of lift, higher or lower arches and will vary in ankle support. All this stuff matters! In addition, most shoe companies have figured out that looks matter, so picking up a functional pair no longer means an ugly pair. Here are a few popular picks for women’s fitness shoes, each one shining in a particular fitness niche. Pick appropriately and don’t roll an ankle!
Nike Lunar Eclipse+2
This shoe is an indoor fitness runners dream. Its feather-weight and snug fit make it the ideal treadmill partner for those long distance battles. A fabric strap is used to wrap around your mid foot, bringing about a very comfortable, but tight fit. The midsole has a slight lift, but is padded with “springy” material, which is meant to give the runner a little extra kick during their foot lift. Anything that makes running a little easier sounds good to me!
Salomon Xr Mission W
The Salomon is like the Nike’s evil sister. This is your go-to if you want a great performing running shoe for the outdoors. Made with weight and durability in mind, this shoes hard elastic top will allow for a little more abuse to take place on the trails. Padding is quite liberal, making it an extremely comfortable fit. The fast pull binds help to achieve a quick and foot-embracing fit, while the grippy outsole will keep you on the path, not the ground.
The North Face Hayasa Shoe
Another trail killer, The North Face Hayasa is meant to be your companion on those long distance epics. This ultra light running shoe gives you a chance to truly feel the trail while still maintaining rigidity and stability. The midsole is very low, which is great for proper foot strike.
Asics Gel-Blur 33TM TR
Another great indoor shoe, the Asics has been made for high impacts and tough surfaces. This would the perfect shoe for activity on a hard court or practicing your hops during box-jumps. The gel-filled pads under the heel ensure comfortable landings after that monstrous jump and rigid sides make sure you stable during quick pivots. The curvature at the heel of this shoe supports the foot tightly and comfortably, helping you to feel great even when you have this shoe on for 2 or more hours.
Merrell Bare Access Arc
Easily the lightest shoe in the review, the Merrell has been made to feel like you are shoeless in the gym. This is great for practicing weightlifting, as it will mimic being barefoot. Running is still possible, but this shoe really shines due to its lack of a lift. Barefoot activity is great to support posture and activate little muscles that don’t get used when a shoe is on. Take it easy in these shoes at first and in no time you should be jumping and lifting like never before.
Mackenzie Kelly is a fitness model, personal trainer and fitness coach. In her free time, she writes about health and fitness to educate others. Her personal blog about health and fitness can be found at: www.mkellyfitness.com.