- 1 There’s No Business Like Shoe Business
- 2 Best Tennis Shoes Comparison
- 3 Heel To Toe is the Thing to Know
- 4 The Way Your Trying on Tennis Shoes is All Wrong
- 5 Stylin’ for Comfort
- 6 Choosing Best Tennis Shoes to Avoid Pain
- 7 And Now for Something Completely Different
- 8 Best Tennis Shoes For Standing All Day
There’s No Business Like Shoe Business
When was the last time you walked into a store selling best tennis shoes? Of course, they may not all be called tennis shoes anymore. In fact, sometimes it is difficult to actually find tennis shoes inside a store selling what used to be collectively referred to as tennis shoes. Whether they are called athletic shoes or trainers or jogging shoes or running shoes or cross training shoes or even sneakers—does anybody call them sneakers anymore—these are the go-to shoe choice for those who have to be standing on the feet all day. If, of course, you are lucky enough to be allowed to wear tennis shoes when forced to stand on your feet all day.
Best Tennis Shoes Comparison
The point being that walking into a store selling these shoes is absolutely overwhelming these days. Cavernous retail palaces with walls lined from one end to the other and nearly from floor to ceiling featuring a dazzling if dizzying display of colors, designs, materials and, of course, intended purpose. Fortunately, if you are looking for the best tennis shoes for standing all day, it really doesn’t matter whether you pick a basketball high-top or a low-slung soccer sneaker. Something that can’t be said if you are picking best tennis shoes actually designed to enhance your athletic ability for their purported purpose. Keep that bit of advice in mind when shopping for comfortable shoes: when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of the decision, go with what feels best for you and not with what some expert or part-time sales associated pretending to be an expert tells you.
And for God’s sake, don’t believe a single word the manufacturer of the shoe tells you. His job is to sell you a shoe, not protect your posture or save you from back pain or keep your toes from blistering.
Heel To Toe is the Thing to Know
Be honest: when you go out shopping for tennis shoes, how much attention do you pay to the heel? Sure, you may turn the thing over and check out the sole and you certain make sure the toes are neither too tight nor too roomy. The heel? What’s to a heel, right? Well, actually, almost everything. You buy a tennis shoe with a solidly constructed heel and it almost doesn’t matter whether it’s made of leather, suede or canvas. A quality heel matched with a so-so toe will bring your day of standing on your feet for hours on end to a much more satisfying end than a so-so heel matched with a quality toe.
So what makes a quality heel? For one thing, it should not be too stiff. A heel too rigidly constructed will lack the necessary give that is required to alleviate the effects of constant movement of your heel up and down against the inside of the shoe’s heel. Although not as common as it used to be, you should studiously avoid any tennis shoe sporting a visible seam running up the middle of inside heel. The serrated quality of that seam is essentially the same as taking a file and rubbing it up and down against your skin for as long as plan on being on your feet.
Clearly, then, a quality tennis shoe avoids a heel that is not pliable. At the same time, you also want to avoid a heel which is too pliable. Buying a tennis shoe that is too soft in the rear becomes a major problem when the purpose is athletic enhancement due to the kinetic energy such a heel steals every time it comes crashing to the ground. Unless your plans for standing on your feet all day do require that kinetic bounce you normally expect, a soft heel may actually benefit your foot health, also they are great if you plan to train with tennis ball machine. If the reason you need a good tennis shoe to withstand the ill-effects of being on your feet all day is precisely because you must always be in motion, then definitely avoid a soft heel every bit as forcefully as you avoid a rigid heel.
And, finally, your search for the perfect tennis shoe should tread that delicately thin line between tight enough to protect your feet from wasted energy while at the same time not being so tight that you practically need to cut your feet free by the end of a long day on your feet.
The Way Your Trying on Tennis Shoes is All Wrong
If you really want to walk out of a store with the best tennis shoes for standing all day, the first thing you need to is forget everything you have learned about trying on new shoes. For instance, you probably still try to figure out what’s the best shoe for your foot by actually putting it on your foot and walking up and down the aisle, don’t you? The inescapably bad news is that the foot is a poor judge of the fit of a brand new shoe. Instead, trust your index finger. When it comes to finding the perfect fit, the index finger knows more than all your toes combined.
You might have learned from your mother the little trick of pressing down on the outside of the shoe around the front tip to judge for space to grow into. Well, you’re an adult now; your feet aren’t going to outgrow the shoe. The principle still applies though. If you cannot push the very tip of your index finger between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, it is probably half a size too small. But wait, the index finger isn’t done yet. Lace up those tennis shoes to the tension you normally expect to wear all day. Now try sliding that index finger between the back of your heel and the inside of the shoe’s heel. Again, if the fit is too snug or you can easily wiggle your finger, you’ve picked the wrong size. If you find that you consistently have trouble finding shoes that can be both tight and comfortable, I have the word of one feline creature for you as guidance toward solving this dilemma.
And, and one last piece of advice on the process of actually purchasing the most comfortable tennis shoe possible for making a long day on your feet more bearable. Wait until the end of a long day on your feet to start shopping. You want to see how your new tennis shoes are going to feel on your feet when they are swollen and sore and ready for relief, not when they are rested, relaxed and ready for the long day ahead. Of course, this goes against the conventional wisdom that new shoes need to be broken in before you can really know whether they are going to be comfortable or not. A point which brings us back to mind-boggling overabundance of choice. The manufacturing of tennis shoes today has come a long way from its lowly origins. The biggest benefit offered by that decadent display of variability is that tailoring the design to meet a specific purpose means most tennis shoes these days are essentially already broken in for you. Take the fullest possible advantage of that benefit by breaking in your feet before you even start picking out the shoes.
Stylin’ for Comfort
Low Slung Shoes
There’s no getting around it: the profile of low slung tennis shoes are the most stylish thing in the entire sneaker industry. They are also constructed to fit snugly without being too tight. Unfortunately, the low placement of the back of the heel means that, once again, you must sacrifice feeling good in order to look good. For the most part, a slow slung style is perfectly fine for many people forced to be on their feet all day. For a great many others, however, that very design creates a forced tension between the Achilles tendon and the muscles on the calf that is inevitable. The thing is, for some that inevitable arrival of pain may take several hours while for others the pain may start settling in after only an hour or two.
Tennis Shoes Lacing
One of the really amazing things about shopping for comfortable shoes is how many people overlook one of the most obvious considerations. Stop and think about how often you must stop to retied tennis shoe laces when they are worn for any length of time. That simple act can itself result in pain and lost efficiency and even potential long-term suffering under the right (very wrong) circumstances. So why not shop for your tennis shoes with the express purpose of getting a pair that cuts down on lace-related violence to your feet? Those with long narrow feet should look for tennis shoes featuring eyelets (lace holes) that are farther away from the tongue so that the process of lacing essentially brings the sides of the shoe more tightly over the foot. The reverse is true for those with wide feet; eyelets that are closer to the tongue can help create more play in the laces, thus allowing a more customized fit. High arches benefit from lacing direct across the tongue rather than criss-crossing over it by helping to reduce painful pressure points on the top of foot.
Flat Feet Tennis Shoes
The person with flat feet or fallen arches faces a unique situation when in search of the best tennis shoe for standing all day. If you do not suffer from the effects of flat feet yourself, but know someone who does, take a moment to reflect on how often that person goes around in their bare feet. Most shoes are simply not manufactured in a way that is superior to going barefooted for those facing this problem. As for style, the flat-footed person whose misery is made all the worse by having to be on those feet all day must simply forego much of the style that is an inherent part of the tennis shoe industry. Most of the really cool looking shoes that almost look like an artifact sent back in time from the future are going to have the effect of throwing off the balance of anyone who truly has flat feet. The worst case scenario is any sneaker that has you feeling as though you are going to tumble head over heels forward. Essential to process of choosing tennis shoes to account for flatfootedness is avoiding any kind of shoe lacking adequate arch support. Although not ideal, usually the best compromise that can be made is to choose an old-fashioned throwback or retro tennis shoe with a low—but adequately sturdy—heel that actually provides balance rather than diminishing it.
Choosing Best Tennis Shoes to Avoid Pain
The single biggest reason you may be desperately searching for the perfect tennis shoe to wear all day is likely that you are trying to avoid many of the common ailments that can result from prolonged entrapment of the foot inside the shoe. Take blisters, for instance. What is the cause of blisters on your feet? Mostly likely shoes that are too tight which enhances the negative effect of the friction produced when your feet rubs against the inside the shoe. If you are prone to developing blisters, your best bet is to shop for tennis shoes while wearing the socks you plan to wear while standing all day. Even more importantly, make sure those socks fit perfectly. The perfect marriage of sock to tennis shoe is one of those miracle of the modern world that cannot be adequately expressed until you have experienced it yourself.
One of the hazards of being on your feet all day is the dreaded muscle cramp. Orthotic inserts that slide inside the tennis shoe can do wonders when it comes to preventing this potentially crippling sudden onset of pain. The problem, of course, is that you probably already bought your tennis shoe before you think of getting the orthotic and so the insertion can potentially upend all the careful planning that went into the buying the shoe in the first place. Unless, that is, you go shopping already equipped with orthotic inserts ready to insert when you try the shoe out inside the store.
Tips and Tricks
Some tricks of the trade can help make your tennis shoe buying experience go a little easier by forcing you to buy for the long term. For instance, if you can only afford to buy one quality pair of tennis shoes that are expected to last after months of standing on your feet all day, then you will likely at some point be tossing those shoes into the washing machine. If you find you need to constantly wash your sneaker because all that standing results in accumulation of dirt, try this tip: buy tennis shoes that can benefit from a light misting of laundry starch every few days. This layer will afford enough protection that you won’t find yourself tossing the shoes into the wash nearly as often. Which, in turn, will prolong their life span.
If you decide to spring for suede tennis shoes and want to keep them looking good, buy yourself an eraser for a blackboard or dry erase board. Scuff marks and mildew stains will magically disappear with just some light erasing.
Any time you find the perfect pair of tennis make into the ideal pair of tennis shoes by virtue of being inexpensive, buy an extra pair. Then alternate your matching set of twins by wearing one pair one day and the other pair the next. Doing this is essentially like doubling quadrupling the life cycle of the perfect sneaker because you doubling the usability of each pair. And since they are the exact same shoe…well, the math may not be perfect, but you get the idea.
And Now for Something Completely Different
The designers who created Masai Barefoot Technology (or MBT for short) studied a select group of people who are on their feet all day. Remember that stuff about kinetic energy you just read above? Well, the Masai in Kenya and Tanzania are miracles of fast-track evolution: over a relatively short time this ethnic group appears to have developmentally adapted a genetic propensity toward long, loping strides with a spring-like kinetic bounce naturally built in. MBT tennis shoes were designed to replicate this gait in pursuit of footwear that subtly forces the wearer to adopt the smooth, unbroken means of locomotion that is in direct contrast to the series of connected motions that make up the walking habit of most people.
The very nature standing on your feet all day introduces a lack of stability into that walking habit. The more uneven the surface on which you are forced to stand, the greater impact that instability can unleash. Since it is impossible at the moment to make the world completely flat, MBT shoes seek to counteract the way uneven surfaces force the muscles to deal with stress. These shoes and others like them are essentially designed to introduce the concept of stability into a haphazardly constructed world. The bowl-shaped shoes can best be described as having rocking chairs attached to the bottom of your feet. And nobody ever complained about sitting in a rocking chair all day, right?
Best Tennis Shoes For Standing All Day
Clearly, the task of finding the perfect tennis shoe for standing on your feet all day is not a simple one. Nor is it one that can be standardized for everybody; hey, this is buying best tennis shoes for standing all day, not teaching algebra! Homogeneity issues aside, there are some things that every person should look for when they walk into a sneaker store. First off, make sure any shoe you choose has adequate give and adequate take. The last thing you want is a shoe lacking in flexibility. At the same, this flexibility must also offer solid support all around the foot. The level of cushioning that is considered ideal will utterly depend upon each person, but make sure there is at least some cushioning. And, of course, failing to check the heel for a Goldilocks-level of perfect symmetry between being too hard and being too soft is arguably the single biggest mistake you can make. If you can’t find a heel that’s “just right” then pretend the shoe salesman is a pushy car salesman and walk out. After all, there are plenty of other choices out there. It’s not like the tennis shoe is any danger of going the way of earth shoes or platform heels for men any time soon.