For too long Australians have been forced to travel far and wide for the latest and greatest in footwear. Thankfully, new e-retailer The Next Pair are putting in the hard yards, sourcing premium footwear from around the world and offering them at affordable prices. The online store also features exclusive styles that are not available anywhere else in Australia.
The Next Pair stocks product from globally-recognised brands such as Nike, Asics, Converse, Vans and many more. The Next Pair’s vision is to become THE online destination for fitness and lifestyle footwear providing bold, individual styles for the urban landscape. The Next Pair provides a distinctive shopping experience, with an optimised website, 30 day no-hassle returns policy and free shipping over $100. The site is stocked full with over 1,500 pairs of shoes, catering for all ages, genders and tastes.
Although most Australians own several flat shoes, multiple dress shoes and an infinite amount of high heels, the vast majority of consumers only have one pair of shoes for exercise. What most people don’t realise is that different fitness shoes are designed for completely different forms of fitness and what makes an excellent shoe for cycling would make a terrible choice for Pilates.
Director of Vision Personal Training, Laura Moore, knows the importance of having the right equipment. “I have seen the fitness market change a lot over my years, both technically and aesthetically, and we are all a lot better off for it. I love that I can now wear a shoe that I know is completely suited to me and my needs and that will enhance my performance, while still looking good!” says Laura.
Laura breaks down the type of shoe required for a variety of exercises.
It is very important to ensure you have the correct support according to your gait. A large proportion of the population is likely to have some degree of pronation or supination (the rolling inward or outward of the feet) so it is important to choose a shoe that rectifies this and returns your feet to a neutral position. Over pronation or supination can leave you susceptible to injuries as it causes the leg to rotate also which increase stresses on the lower limbs and can leave you with unnecessary niggles and pains.
Suggestion from The Next Pair: Mizuno Wave Inspire 11
With regard to cross country shoes, there are a few considerations. Firstly it is essential that the shoe fits and feels right. With the diverse terrain, the foot will be forced into many different positions so while you do indeed need some ‘wiggle room’ you must ensure the foot is secure and not moving about too much inside. In terms of the actual material of the shoe, it is likely that when running cross country you will encounter varying conditions so it will need to withstand elements such as water, mud and dust while still allowing the foot to breathe, so a leather upper with air holes or a breathable synthetic material is recommended. The sole will need to have a more substantial tread on it to provide extra grip on unstable surfaces and also provide some cushioning, particularly in the heel, to help absorb some of the shock when the foot hits the ground.
Suggestion from The Next Pair: Asics Kayano 21
If you’re simply planning on walking around parks a normal running shoe will suffice. When taking the off-road track the terrain will be considerably more unstable underfoot, so you may want to go for a boot so the ankle is encapsulated. Grip on the sole of the shoe will also need to be a consideration here, to give you extra assistance when facing slippery and unstable surfaces.
In terms of sizing, with both running and walking shoes you need to make sure there is a bit of room to accommodate the foot movement that occurs on impact, so don’t buy anything that is too snug – you can still ensure the foot is secure by lacing the shoe up correctly.
Suggestion from The Next Pair: Nike Free 5.0
Aerobics and Group Training:
This type of exercise usually includes a lot of jumping and higher impact movements so a proper fitting shoe is essential to ensure the foot does not move around too much inside. Cushioning and support is also important to help absorb some of the shock when the foot hits the ground. I personally wear the same shoes as I do for running when partaking in this kind of activity as my feet will be under a similar amount of stress, if not more, so I want to make sure I am hitting the ground with correct alignment and minimising the impact as much as possible.
Suggestion from The Next Pair: Reebok Nano 2.0
When boxing the key to success is to be light on your feet – master your foot work and you will master the ring a lot more easily. Therefore, a regular running shoe may not be appropriate as the extra cushioning and support required to absorb shock is not necessary. Therefore, a lightweight, flat-soled shoe is recommended. It is important to ensure there is adequate grip on the sole to avoid slipping over and potentially spraining an ankle (a high-top shoe will also help prevent this kind of injury).
Suggestion from The Next Pair: Inov8 – F195
Founder of The Next Pair Alex Hsu says, “We have over 1,500 pairs of shoes available on the site. Obviously customers are excited by the range of designs and colours but we want to educate the market that different people (with different priorities and interests when it comes to fitness) will need very different footwear. The last thing we want is for someone to make a purchase on the site purely because they like the look of a pair of shoes, and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this kind of purchasing decision! It’s important to look at your exercise routine and work out what kinds of shoes suit your lifestyle. It may be that you need one pair for long-distance runs and another pair for your weekly exercise class.”
Laura echoes Alex’s sentiment saying, “I personally have a pair for when I’m working, a running/walking pair, a cycling pair and a pair for the gym and weight lifting. People underestimate how important it is for the body to be in correct alignment. If just one part is out then it can trigger a chain reaction throughout the whole body and result in all manner of injuries that could have easily been prevented.”