Get Acquainted With Your Shoes
Running with walking shoes is like using a steak knife to remove a Phillips-head screw – it will be much more difficult than with the proper equipment and you might potentially hurt yourself.
Modern footwear is designed with a very specific function in mind and although we are all too often guilty of wearing the wrong shoes, the practice should be avoided. The designers of shoes carefully shape, size and angle the different parts of a sneaker, cleat or boot to optimize it for different activities and to help protect you from injury while taking part in these activities. For example, walking shoes are flat and flexible to prevent shin splints while running shoes are rigid and have flared soles to give you stability when running.
It is especially important to wear the appropriate sporting shoes when participating in extreme sports. Snowboarding boots, for instance, need to have the right combination between stiffness and flexibility. The lacing system and structural braces work together to lock the heel and ankle in place. This is a preventative measure against twisted or broken ankles in the case of a rough landing. Most of the footbeds in snowboarding boots have a molded insole with arch support. Another characteristic specific to winter-sport footwear is the built-in thermal liner that helps keep your feet warm and toasty. In contrast, downhill mountain bikers require a shoe that is both durable and lightweight. Many mountain biking shoes are made of action leather, a lightweight material, and can come with cleats or clips. The soles of these shoes are made of special rubber that can endure the friction and body weight exerted by a rider on his or her feet. Skateboarders also depend on a good rubber sole for board control and durability. Most skateboarding shoes come with Velcro straps for easy fitting and internal stabilization.
Every extreme sport comes with the corresponding gear that is necessary to run, jump, or ride safely. Protection and stabilization are the key functions of your sporting shoes and it is wise not to underestimate the importance of the appropriate footwear.