Athletic Shoes – Types and Intents

As an athletically minded individual, I am extremely grateful for the existence of modern athletic shoes (sometimes called tennis shoes or sneakers). If you’re ever bored, consider for a moment what it would have been like to be a devotee of physical activity 100 years ago. Shoes at the beginning of the 20th century didn’t exactly scream comfort. If you wanted to pursue a sport in those days, you were basically stuck with your everyday footwear. Contrarily, the athletes of the 21st century can chose from a dizzying array of athletic shoe options, each designed to cater to the demands of a specific sport or pastime.

All athletic shoes serve the same basic purpose: to protect the wearer’s feet by mitigating the challenges of whatever pastime they are pursuing. To that end, they all feature soles made of dense rubber and bodies of flexible materials that allow the foot to breathe. Some “athletic shoes” are not really intended for physical activity; rather, they are designed to mimic the style of true athletic shoes for fashion purposes. Such shoes can sometimes be slipped on and off, depending only on Velcro or elastic for a tight fit. However, true athletic shoes always feature shoelaces that can be laced up and over the arch of a foot, tightened according to the needs and desires of the wearer.

Beyond this basic definition, there are numerous kind of athletic shoes, all designed for specific athletic pursuits. For example, some athletic shoes are intended simply for running. Such shoes possess specific features to help the athlete in that physical exercise. Running shoes are lightweight so as not to slow down the wearer. They provide a great deal of cushioning, the better to protect the feet from repeated impact with the ground. Additionally, those running shoes specifically designed for racing have no heel to speak of. The lack of heel improves the foot-to-ground power transfer, allowing the runner to race more efficiently.

Cross-trainers are a popular kind of athletic shoe. The advantage of this shoe style is that is it balances support and cushioning with flexibility and light weight. It can be used for running, walking, tennis, aerobics and many other kinds of exercise. All of the large athletic shoe brands manufacture cross-trainers, including Nike, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance and many others.

Still other athletic shoes are designed for trail hiking and running. These shoes feature relatively high tops, which increases support for the ankle. Also, trail shoes have additional treads on the soles, the better to provide superior traction on uneven terrain. These shoes are ideal for hiking trails that require more support than provided by typical athletic shoes, but do not necessitate traditional hiking boots.

Lastly, some athletic shoes are designed simply for walking. These shoes are excellent for everyday life, especially when an individual has a job that requires being up and about all day. Walking shoes are designed to provide stable and secure support for long periods of time. Additionally, they often feature moisture-wicking materials that prevent feet from becoming too hot and sweaty. Walking shoes are especially popular among nurses, who have to be on the go all day long.

Tennis Shoes

When you were a kid you had at least two pair of shoes. One pair was your “good” one your mother referred to as your “dress shoes,” while the other pair was your “everyday” shoes, most probably of athletic nature. These shoes, specially designed for sporting activities, were given the generic name “athletic shoes,” which is still considered a category that consists of running, basketball and tennis footwear. Originally introduced as part of the sporting apparel, athletic shoes are now worn as part of a casual look. Going for a walk, running across the shore, or playing outdoor games, are examples of the instances that people of all ages select to wear them. But how did all begin and why do more and more different types of athletic shoes being produced?

It is much more than the supply and demand curve, but it all comes down to that. Modern sneakers have beginnings in various sports shoes. One ancestor is the expensive British upper-class footwear of the late 1800s, used for lawn tennis, cricket, croquet, and at the beach. While at the turn of the twentieth century, football and baseball players wore essentially the same shoe type as before, the leather high-topped lace-ups with leather soles and cleats, the need to have footwear that provided a good grip onto the ground was the reason why a variety of lightweight shoes were introduced. Special shoes that would allow runners to move and lead to positive results, like increasing their speed and thus, their competitiveness, were ordered. Thus, as the need for greater speed increased, so did the athletic shoes’ number and styles. By refining and improving the shoes’ traction, sportswear companies created a subcategory in sports apparel; the shoemaking industry that is now worth billions. The sneakers’ demand emerged as athletes drew spectators to games and scientists invented new ways to accelerate human limits and improve athletes’ scores.

The dictionary defines the athletic shoe or sneaker as “a sports shoe usually made of canvas and having soft rubber soles; also called tennis shoe.” As today, uppers can be of leather, nylon, canvas, plastic, or combinations of these, and the shoe bottom surface has come to include any type of natural or synthetic rubber soles, tennis shoes are not equivalent to any other type of athletic shoe types. Sure, the term “tennis shoes” has become a generic term for athletic shoes, but this should not give the wrong impression to people that all sports shoes are the same or that one should wear them interchangeably regardless of the game/sport played. Running shoes on a tennis court, for example, are a sprained or broken ankle waiting to happen. Running shoes are built with a thick, soft heel to maximize cushioning for straight-forward, heel-to-toe foot impacts. Playing tennis is all about sudden starts and stops, as well as moving quickly from side to side. The trouble is that, during extreme stopping, cornering, and pivoting, if the sneaker’s outsole is too rigid, the tennis player loses contact with the playing surface, which results in a loss of footing. In addition, since runners do not usually move sharply sideways, while “on the run,” the running shoe sole is totally unsuitable for the sideways movements a tennis player makes.

Expensive Athletic Shoes For Kids – Should You Get Them?

Athletic shoes have become a billion dollar industry over the past three decades. They have gone from simple rubber bottomed sneakers to ultra high tech marvels of engineering that cost shoe companies tens of millions of dollars to develop.

One side effect of the ever growing technology driven athletic footwear market is the sky rocketing cost for each pair. It is most noticeable when we get our children new sports sneakers.

Nowadays it is not unusual for kids to have athletic shoes costing well over 100 dollars. This article sheds some light as to whether or not we should really buy our kids these expensive shoes.

The athletic shoe industry has exploded over the last few decades. Now more than ever we are faced with literally thousands of shoes for all kinds of sports. If your child has some track activities at school he has to wear track shoes. If your daughter is playing basketball she will need the latest pair from Nike.

Not only that, but during the past few years different shoes for the same sports have become increasingly common. A good example would be soccer which can be played both indoor and outdoor. If your fifth grader is playing on both locations he will need two types of shoes! Running shoes come also in varieties all suited for different surfaces.

A very big predicament among parents is that to keep up with their children’s growth they’ll be buying shoes as often as every quarter! This suddenly makes the cost of multiple athletic shoes for your child a huge burden. Imagine unloading 200 to 400 dollars every three months for your kids’ shoes alone.

Of course we all know that your child can live without these shoes. But in keeping up with the Joneses you can’t help but give your child the best. The littlest edge is all that it takes for your kid to outperform another kid in sports.

So should you invest in this ever growing cost of athletic foot wear for your child? Fortunately there is a way to compromise both cost and your kid’s performance in sports.

What parents should do is to invest slowly as their kids grows with their chosen sports. A good example would be to buy a cheaper or value based shoes when your kids are still starting out their new sport. This is good because as many mothers know their children can go in and get out of their chosen sports anytime.

What might be even better is to borrow old shoes from their siblings or cousins when they get into a new sport. If they begin to really get into the sport then you should begin buying them their own shoes.

As they accomplish more and more in their respective sports you can begin investing in shoes that give an edge. It is very important to let them feel that new shoes are rewards and not necessary privileges they have the right into acquiring.

This gives them an incentive to perform well while preventing them from getting spoiled. Also reinforce them so that they do not think that shoes are the main ingredient to their success in athletics.

To close remember to start your children with the cheapest shoes you can acquire. Make them feel that their success in their sports do not rest in what they wear on their feet but instead lie in hard work and practice. But as they grow deeper into their sport, reward them increasingly with new gear. This is for them to develop their self esteem as well as their motivation.