Why wearing the right exercise shoes is so important

Kristine Tarbert
·Features and Health Editor
·3-min read

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If you're someone who works out regularly you might already be across the need to wear the right kind of sports bra or pants for the type of exercise you're doing – think a relaxing yoga session vs a jump-tastic HIIT circuit.

But what you wear on your feet is just as important, and can even determine how well you exercise, as I recently discovered while trying out the new Under Armour HOVR Machina 2.

Under Armour HOVR Machina 2
I tried the UA HOVR Machina 2 and now I'm apparently a runner. Photo: Supplied/under armour

Australian Institute of Fitness Head of Training Kate Kraschnefski tells Yahoo Lifestyle there are so many things for people to consider when choosing the right exercise shoes.

"We all have different requirements, depending on our physiology and preferred type of activity," Kate tells us.

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"Some of us are just looking for comfort. Sometimes efficiency is important, especially for repetitive movements such as running. Some shoes are said to reduce the potential likelihood of injuries or pain."

Some people with medical concerns such as diabetes may need shoes that encourage circulation, she adds, while we all definitely want some that look good!

Cropped shot of a woman tying her shoelaces before a workout
Different shoe types work for running, HIIT and weightlifting. Photo: Getty

Kate says by understanding what activity you are wanting to do and how your body moves, you can select appropriate footwear.

"When looking at running shoes, you are after an option that supports your body mechanics – your running style – often when viewing running specific footwear, a lighter shoe will enhance your performance," she suggests.

"HIIT training often involves rapid movements with high impact and, as such, you should consider shoes with increased cushioning in the sole to help absorb landing focus.

"For weightlifting shoes, you will notice they generally have an elevated heel to allow for an increase in the range of motion of the ankle. This can assist the quality of lower body movements or in providing a solid foundation for all standing lifts. Both quality of movement and a stable base are so important for heavy strength training."

When it comes to choosing a shoe the whole body should also be taken into consideration.

But posture and gait assessments can be performed by a Personal Trainer, shoe specialists, and/or a healthcare professional, and provide you with individualised results and recommendations.

The UA HOVR Machina features a high-ventilation mesh fabric for improved breathability and reduced weight, while also providing a 'zero gravity feel' to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact.

You can also link the shoes up with the UA MapMyRun app to use Under Armour’s Form Coaching technology, which tracks and analyses your running metrics to help make you a better runner, with personalised feedback delivered audibly during a run.

As your body emits energy, the mineral-infused UA RUSH™ lining absorbs and reflects it back, improving endurance.

Basically, if becoming a better runner is your goal – these are the shoes for it.

Under Armour HOVR Machina 2 running shoe
The shoes correct your form as you go in real-time! Photo: Supplied/under armour

I won't lie I was not a runner - hated it in fact - before trying out these shoes, but having real-time feedback was extremely motivating to try and get my form right.

It didn't take long for me to be able to go longer without getting tired, and after just a few weeks I actually ran for five minutes straight on a treadmill, which I've never managed before. 

Besides running I also wore them to my regular HIIT classes and to say it felt like I was jumping on a cloud is a bit of an understatement. The impact on my knees and ankles was definitely reduced which meant recovery was way better as well.

Regardless of your fitness goal, get yourself the right pair of shoes for it.

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