You may think that the concept of different large trainers for different sports is a marketing ploy by shoe manufacturers to get you to spend more but not according to the experts.


"It's important to choose the appropriate shoe for your chosen activity, as the demands of each vary," says consultant podiatric surgeon Ron McCulloch, from the London Podiatry Clinic.


For example, tennis involves lots of lateral movement and changes of direction, while running is pure forward motion.  If you like gym classes or gentle walks, then cross-training shoes are ideal for these low-impact activities. Most have a leather-mesh mix for the upper, so they’re more durable and waterproof, and a non-marking sole for indoor use.


Nike Court Lite Tennis


Nike Court Lite Tennis from Walktall (sizes 12-14)


For running, you’ll need specialised running shoes to absorb the shock when your feet hit the ground. They cushion and support feet against high impact exercise. They have more grip than cross-trainers and a light, mesh upper for breathability. Running trainers should be replaced at around the 500-mile mark. Alternatively look for telltale signs of wear such as loss of bounce or aches and pains in your knees or shinbones.


Hi-Tec Silver Shadow II


Hi-Tec Silver Shadow II from Walktall (sizes 12-15)


It can be useful to get a gait assessment. Specialist sports shop staff are trained to examine the way your feet move when they're on the ground. Your 'gait', the three-dimensional, rotational movement of the foot, determines which shoes are most suitable:


  • Neutral gait - A small amount of inward rotation is described as a neutral gait. Trainers should provide cushioning.

  • Overpronation - Too much inward rotation is described as overpronation. Shoes with supportive posts on the inside edges or ‘motion control’ will correct this movement.

  • Underpronation - Very rarely, feet roll outward, called underpronation or supination. Stability or motion control shoes should be avoided in favour of a neutral trainer with plenty of cushioning.
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