Australians are an active people who generally love the outdoors. Whether it’s surfing at the beach, running through the parks and suburbs, or hiking and adventuring in the Outback, Australia is a land that appreciates adventure and physical activity. It’s these facts that are driving more and more people to invest more time and money into their choice of active footwear. Brands like On running hiking shoes, for instance, have made huge strides into the market by offering well engineered footwear for active men and women.
But in truth, why does it really matter? Do we really need to invest more in this kind of footwear? Are our feet not just as well supported and protected by regular and more affordable shoes? If you don’t know why it’s important to choose the right footwear for strenuous physical activity like running and hiking, then consider the following:
1. Running – Surface Matters
Many types of running shoes are designed to enhance support to your feet and legs — especially your knees — for when you’re exercising on hard surfaces. There’s a huge difference to how it impacts your body whether you run on grass, sand, an athletic track or on the asphalt/concrete pavement or road. It’s important you investigate shoes that can best support you for the type of surfaces you are normally running on.
2. Running – Previous Injuries Matter
If you’ve been hurt before during athletic activities, perhaps a foot, leg or other joint injury, then having the right kind of footwear to continue your athletic pursuits is absolutely essential. You can do this in many ways, including things like support bandages for your knees, but another terrific way is to invest in supportive and high-quality footwear that is engineered specifically for giving additional support to the most sensitive parts of your feet and legs.
3. Running – Your Foot Type Matters
Finally, for running, the shoes you wear have to be compatible with the current condition of your feet. We mentioned above the need for support in cases where there might have been previous injury. The same applies for the way that your feet are in their more natural state, too.
For instance, how high the arch of your foot is matters a great deal, as does the amount your ankles roll in and out — known as “pronation”. These factors and others affect your running gait and so you need to get footwear that supports your feet in the right way. Some people actually get a full foot assessment done before making a purchase of running shoes.
4. Hiking – Going the Distance
Hikers typically spend huge amounts of time in their footwear in a single session, invariably far more than even the most active runners. A hike can be a whole-day affair literally from dawn to dusk. That being the case, it’s important to invest in hiking footwear that will both support and stabilise your feet. Most people who injure themselves on a hike do so on their feet or ankles, and having the right footwear with proper support, waterproofing and strong traction helps to prevent that.
5. Hiking – Unknown Destinations
Many of the country’s most popular hiking destinations are somewhat different in their topography from what people are used to day to day. It’s easy to underestimate a place like Tasmania, for example, thinking it might be just like the rest of Australia. Little do people know that it’s a unique environment and presents challenging trails that are physically and mentally demanding. Proper hiking footwear in such conditions is among your best allies to ensure you have an enjoyable and not an injurious time.