Since their popularization in the mid-20th century by brands such as Converse, Nike and Spalding, sneakers have become the ultimate expression of street culture. Today, sneakers are a global market of nearly $79 billion, that has spawned sneaker wars, and a golden age of collaborations between artists and sneaker brands. Finding the right sneakers in a golden age of sneaker design, has never been harder. Here’s what you need to look for to find the right sneakers for your needs.
Start with a Speciality Store
The best place to find the right sneaker for you is a specialty store, where you can be fitted by professionals. You see, your foot is completely unique to you, much like your fingerprint. You need a shore that is right for the contours of your feet. Speciality stores are excellent because they deal with thousands of clients, and have accumulated a wealth of expertise in helping their clients meet their very specific needs.
Although it’s good to try on a pair of sneakers before wearing them, you also have to test those sneakers by doing what you are buying them for. So, for instance, if you are buying running shoes, you should try running in those shoes before buying them. A sneaker may fit well but perform poorly in its chosen domain. If you are buying a running or walking shoe, you want lots of space so your toes can wiggle, and for the heel area to feel secure, because your feet are far more dynamic when you are running, compared to when you are standing or walking. If you want to get cycling shoes, then you want a snug fit with space for your toes to wiggle, but not as much as for running or walking.
As a rule of thumb, there should be around half an inch of space between the tip of your sneakers and your big toe. Your shoes should fit snugly and not pressure your feet.
Contours of the Shoe
The contours of your shoe should map those of your feet, so that sneakers feel like a part of your feet.
Sensations from Wearing the Shoe
Hype 24/7 likes to remind clients that sneakers are not just about form and function, they are also about sensation, about how they feel when you’re wearing them. Sometimes it can be hard to locate where a particular problem or benefit of a sneaker is, but you can rely on the sensations that you feel from wearing the sneaker. Ask yourself how responsive the sneaker is to your foot, and how comfortable the rhythm is. These sensations are a good indicator of whether or not you will sustain injuries from wearing the sneakers, or whether those sneakers will reduce your risk of injury.
You should also check how you feel just after taking the sneakers off. If you develop blisters, bruises, or hot spots, for instance, or other pains such as knee pain or shin splints, then that is a bad sign for you.