The physical appearance of a pair of shoes is definitely the first consideration that comes to mind when you start thinking about buying a new pair of shoes. Think about what happens when you walk into a shoe store – the first reaction you have, is to go for the shoes you like most in the display – a decision that is 100% based on what it looks like. From the dazzling displays at Nike shoes sales, to the carefully curated, smaller boutique shoe offerings, the drawcard is always the appearance of the shoes.
The purpose of shoes goes way further than just providing a covering for your feet. Shoes are designed to provide support for specific activities, which is where names like walking shoes, dancing shoes, running shoes and hiking shoes come from. Figuring out what kind of shoe you need will be determined by doing an analysis on your lifestyle, and figuring out what kind of activity you spend most of your time doing. The nature of the activity you pursue will automatically tell you what kind of shoes you will need to buy. Love running? You will need something light with a lot of cushioning, to help absorb the impact from the motion. Walking long distances sound like fun? Go for a stable shoe that offers a sturdy sole and ankle support.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of buying a pair of shoes based on how cool they look – and if you’ve ever walked past a display of shoes for sale, you’ll know what I mean! But unless you actually are a runner, you could do more harm than good by buying running shoes as multipurpose footwear.
Although running shoes in particular are know for being comfortable, soft and light on the feet, they can be lacking in other aspects that help keep people on their feet for a long time. Forgoing ankle support, cushioning on the soles and around the ankles, or going for a shoe that is too soft, can lead to injury or chafing due to lack of support.
If your activities of choice are more strenuous, you will need something sturdy and strong that is able to withstand the rigours of intense activity. In a case like this, you can always safely turn to leather as a go-to material. It can withstand major impact, and is very tough and durable, making it an excellent protective material. It also lasts a long time, without wear and tear being a significant factor.
The downside to leather is that it is expensive. Many manufacturers have started very successfully combining leather with cheaper materials like suede, mesh and rubber, to optimise the adaptive factors of all of these materials, and which helps to bring the price and weight of the shoes down – a great solution for those who need or prefer lighter shoes.