Shoe selection for any sport or activity is crucial. Most people understand the concept of sport specific shoes. A squash player needs a squash shoe and linebacker needs a football shoe. These two examples have very unique movements and surfaces and the shoe is designed to function in that environment. But for some reason when it comes to attending boot camps, the footwear is not the athlete’s first thought. Instead, it’s what to wear and what does my butt look like in these tights.
A well fit, cushioned running shoe that is chosen to match your foot mechanics is the best shoe for boot camps. The trick is to find a qualified running shoe fitter to teach you about your foot mechanics and recommend the appropriate shoe. The three main points for proper shoe selection are fit, cuhioning and control.
Fit- the volume and shape of the shoe must match the volume and shape of the foot. A wide, deep foot needs a wide, deep shoe. An narrow foot needs a thin narrow shoe. New Balance makes fitting easier because of it’s multiple widths and length fittings.
Cushion – all most all of current running shoe designs, use ethyl vinyl acetate or EVA in the midsole as their cushioning material. The material type doesn’t differ greatly between styles of shoes but thickness does. For example, a running shoe and walking shoe will have a thicker midsole (more cushioning) than a court shoe.
Control- how the shoe ‘controls the foot’s movements by it’s combination of densities in the midsole. Because feet tend to roll inward, the density changes are done to the medial aspect of the midsole. Primarily, these control options are offered in running shoes only. There are three general levels of control which are described below.
Neutral: shoe has a single density midsole. All of the midsole is white indicating uniform density. Normal foot mechanics do well in this level because they simply needs shock absorption.
Control – shoe offers maximum control through the use of high density material and some other reinforcing material such as plastic.
For boot camp work outs, the best shoe is a running shoe. It offers maximal cushioning and we have the most choice between the level of control so we can best match foot mechanics to footwear.