With the fall, and thus a new school year arriving, people are often motivated to return to their normal routine and to get into shape for the new year. Students will return, not only to classes but to varsity sports, intramurals and/or gym class. One of the essential purchases this time of year is new athletic footwear to provide essential foot support for these physical endeavours. There are so many options out there for footwear today, how do you know you are getting the right one? Which are for running? Which are court shoes? Are the more expensive pairs the better choice or will a cheaper version provide the same support? All these questions can overwhelm shoe buyers and they often resort to buying shoes based on their aesthetics rather than their supportive capability.
Here are four simple tests to use when shopping for supportive, well made athletic wear:
1) The Dish Rag test:
This test checks the “torsional rigidity” of the shoe and tests the stability of the sole of the shoe. Simply take the toe of the shoe in one hand and the heel in the other and twist as hard as you can. If the shoe twists and folds then it fails this test
2) The Pinch test:
This test checks the stability in the heel of the shoe. To perform this test with one hand ,pinching the heel of the shoe together just above the sole of the shoe. If the heel folds in then the shoe has fail the test
3) The Fold test:
This test checks the flexion stability of the shoe. Take the heel and the toe of the shoe and try to fold them together. If the shoe folds in the middle then the shoe fails the test. Note: Folding in the mid toe area is expected of a good shoe and allows for toe off during running phases of activity
4) The Shelf test:
This checks the stability of the upper part of the shoe. Lay the shoe on a flat surface and check to see that the heel is vertical and symmetrical. If they slant or are asymmetrical then they fail the test
There are many other factors that need to be examined when looking for the right shoes for your personal needs but these few tests can help you pick out well made shoes and give you some confidence in the quality of your athletic wear.