How to Choose the Best Cross Trainer Shoes

How to Choose the Best Cross Trainer Shoes
Cross trainer shoes are designed to be the multi-tool of the athletic-shoe world. Built to give strong lateral support, cross trainers excel in multidirectional sports, such as kickboxing, tennis and weight lifting and serve adequately for the occasional run or hike. However, as the do-all shoe, it's vital that you choose a pair that is well made, fits properly and is comfortable.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Look it over. Cross trainers should have a wide outsole to aid in lateral stability. Also, look for a heel that's slightly undercut (found in walking shoes), which allows for a more natural walking motion than a flared, flat sole (found in running shoes). For additional stability, a moderate amount of dense padding is desirable in the heel and forefoot.
Step 2
Push on it. Pick up the shoe and push the toe toward the heel. If the sole flexes in the arch, don't buy it. You want flexion in the upper third of the sole. However, make sure it is not to stiff in the forefoot. Walk around for a couple minutes and pay attention to how the sole feels. It should not feel like a board.
Step 3
Twist it. Grasp the shoe in both hands with one hand around the heel and the other around the toe. Firmly twist the shoe back and forth. The shoe should not twist through the arch.
Step 4
Squeeze it. Using both your thumbs, compress the side walls of the heel. If the heel walls firmly resist collapsing, it's good.
Step 5
Is there adequate toe space? Always try on your shoes later in the day, preferably after a workout because that's when your feet will be most swollen. Lace up the shoe, and stand on it. You should have an index finger's width of space (1/2 inch) between your big toe and the end of the shoe. Wiggling your toes, you should feel no cramping or restriction.
Step 6
Does the heel slip? You want a firm grip on your heel with no slippage. Check for heel slippage by walking around for several minutes, preferably up and down a stair and sloped surface.
Step 7
Is there discomfort in the forefoot? The shoe should feel snug over the forefoot, but not cause discomfort.

Tips & Warnings

 
If you over-pronate (your foot turns outward) or are flat footed, look for a shoe that's both straight-lasted and combination-lasted, which will limit ankle pronation. If you have a high arch, look for a shoe that's both curve-lasted and slip-lasted. This will allow a more natural foot movement and provide additional arch support.
 
If you over-pronate (your foot turns outward) or are flat footed, look for a shoe that's both straight-lasted and combination-lasted, which will limit ankle pronation.
 
If you have a high arch, look for a shoe that's both curve-lasted and slip-lasted. This will allow a more natural foot movement and provide additional arch support.

Article Written By Isaac Billings

Residing in northern Michigan, Isaac Billings began writing in 2009, with articles appearing on eHow, Trails and Run.com. A wilderness EMT-paramedic and wilderness instructor, Billings enjoys writing about the outdoors, running, health and nutrition. He holds an Associates of Applied Science in emergency medicine from North Central Michigan College.

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