What are some technical design elements that every woman should look for in an athletic shoe for working out indoors?
Lateral movement control for cross training is essential for training indoors. Multidirectional flex grooves on a shoe tread allow your feet to move more naturally from side to side and front to back. Also a shoe with an airy mesh in the fabric helps create flexibility and breathability in a shoe. Shoes with rubber pods on the sole also allow for floor traction and control.
Are there any myths that women should ignore as just product marketing and not construction that actually matters?
More cushion is better for your feet. False. There's no evidence that this is actually true. More cushion can create just as much shock/impact as anything. It's really about shoe construction for lateral support. Shoes will not change your gait pattern, they can assist in making it more efficient if you're in the right shoe for the sport in which you are training. Runners should stick with shoes that support the mechanics of their gait pattern, and athletes in the gym should focus on shoes to allow for lateral movement with control and support.
Any other tips?
Know the difference between a running shoe and training shoe. Both have specific qualities but support two very different training methods. Get fitted for the proper support so your in a shoe that will make you most efficient during a workout. Know your foot and understand the mechanics before choosing something because you like the color. Never cross train in a running shoe. Running shoes are not meant for lateral/flexible movement. Running shoes are constructed with a much more dense foam to keep the foot more stable and unable to move in a lateral direction. For cross training you need lateral support but also something that serves the foot to be able to move in 3-dimensional movement patterns.
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Whether you're looking for stellar shoes for fitness performance or just amazing style to strut down the sidewalk, check out my picks of fun options from Saucony, Asics, Nike, New Balance and Brooks Running in the slideshow and shop them by name below.
Kinvara 5, $100 from saucony.com
GEL-Fit Sana™ from asicsamerica.com
Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 5 iD Women's Training Shoe, $75 from nike.com
The Nike Free TR 5 Print Women's Training Shoe, $110 from nike.com
Women's Fitness Trainer Shoes | New Balance USA from newbalance.com
PureFlow 3, $80 from brooksrunning.com