Womens Sports Shoes Guide - An Introduction
Women’s sports shoes, also known as women’s trainers, are nearly as diverse as women themselves. Some are designed to give you the best athletic performance for general sports, some are designed for a specific sport like running trainers, and others are more about looks than support. They are available in any colour you can imagine, including red, black, gold, green, silver, brown, pink, blue, and of course, white.
Sports shoes were introduced in the early 1900s, shortly after inventor Charles Goodyear learned how to vulcanize rubber. This led to innovations in both tyres and sport shoe soles, often made by the same small companies. One of the earliest, and best-selling, shoes was the Converse All Star, which was introduced in 1917, although they were not the first. Keds were introduced around the same time, and numerous other companies had their own lines of basketball shoes. Traction was added to the soles in the 1920s and 1930s, and the shoes began to be marketed for sports other than basketball.
In the ‘70s, the sale of trainers increased as jogging became more popular, making it necessary to have a special pair of sports shoes for the activity. Soon after, there were specialised shoes not only for jogging, but also for football, basketball, running—whatever the sport, it demanded its own shoe. In the 1980s and 1990s, shoes increasingly became worn for fashion as much as for athletic purposes. Today’s trainers are made with flexible materials, usually with a dense rubber sole. There are specialised shoes available for racing, track shoes, skate shoes, climbing, wrestling, football, jogging, and dance, just to name a few.
Whatever style of women’s sports shoes you want to buy, Price Inspector can help. We do the research to help you choose the best pair of shoes, regardless of your sport. When you have found the right shoe, we bring you the right price. Our Inspectors compare prices at all the UK stores, making it easy for you to find the cheapest prices.
Nike and Converse
Nike trainers have been popular sports shoes since the 1960s and the company bought Converse in 2003. Each has a full line of shoes for any sport or occasion, and some of the popular models include:
- Nike Air Max Trainers: The 2009 Air Max is designed for comfortable cushioning for runners. It’s designed for runners who have either an underpronated or a neutral gait. The foam mid-sole runs the full-length of the shoe. It has a breathable mesh upper to give light support. The flex grooves on the sole give increased flexibility, while the strategically located pattern provides excellent traction.
- Nike Shox come with the Nike+ technology. This allows athletes to monitor and measure their progress. With Nike+ ready shoes, you’ll also need a sensor and either a Nike+ Sport Band, iPod Nano, iPod Touch 2G, or iPhone 3GS. Simply place the sensor under the sock liner of your left shoe, and the sensor will measure your distance, pace, time, and calories. Another key feature of the Nike Shox shoe is that they can be customized. This allows you to get different cushioning or even different sizes for your right and left feet.
- Converse All-Stars: These classic shoes are available in high-top or low-top styles, canvas or leather, and they provide any fashion statement you want. Popular colours include red, black, green, navy, and white. One of the newest fashion shoes is the Converse Sequin. This shoe adds a futuristic look to the old-school shoes, featuring a chequered pattern of sequins on the upper.
Adidas and Reebok
Adidas trainers gained prominence in the 1980s, first appearing with the famous Adidas shell toe. Reebok was founded in England in 1895 and it is now a subsidiary of Adidas.
- Adidas Goodyear trainers include the Adi Racer, which has been reworked for a new look and style. The leather upper has decorative stitching and contrast piping. The mid-sole now provides lateral support with its faux carbon plate. The rubber sole now includes a soft cell for more comfort.
- The Adidas Samba football shoe, also available in suede, has held its classic style for over 30 years, remaining one of the most popular sport shoes for indoor football. It features full-grain leather uppers, non-marking soles appropriate for polished surfaces, and die-cut EVA mid-soles.
- The Adidas Stan Smith combines performance with sex appeal. With the Trefoil, you get patent leather uppers for eye-catching appeal, while the padded sock liner gives a comfortable feel. The closure style includes laces and Velcro for a secure fit.
- The Reebok Freestyle is a leather high-top shoe with Velcro fasteners at the top of the ankle for additional support. This classic white-and-silver shoe is designed for aerobics, with comfortably cushioned sock liners, abrasive rubber soles to keep you from slipping, and a lightweight design.
- Reebok Classic trainers are a line of redesigned classic shoes appropriate for running, aerobics, or everyday wear. The Princess Classic is a lightweight leather aerobics shoe with a comfortably padded sock liner.
There are many other popular brands of shoes, ranging from specialty sports shoes to fashionable lines for everyday wear.
- Vans: Known for their skate shoe and slip-on styles, Vans targets primarily the young skateboarder, snowboarder, surfer market.
- Lacoste: This high-end clothing company, easily identified by their green crocodile logo, makes a line of deck shoes, tennis shoes, and walking shoes.
- Asics trainers are worn by many top-ranked NAIA, NCAA, and national teams. They sponsor football, volleyball, cricket, tennis, wrestling and triathlon teams, making shoes for all these sports.
- Puma produces high-end athletic shoes, including association football, basketball, and track shoes.
- DC Shoes specialises in shoes for extreme sports, such as skate boarding, snow boarding, motocross, BMX, and rally car racing.
- Timberlands are a line of boot designed for hiking and mountaineering, but they are just as popular for their fashion statement.
- Diesel trainers are a small line of fashionable trainers. The shoes are designed by Diesel for Adidas.
- Fila trainers are best known for the sponsorships of major tennis players, but they are also designed for marathon runners.
- Ecko trainers are fashion shoes epitomizing urban chic styling. They are endorsed by High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens.
- K Swiss primarily manufactures tennis shoes, worn by such stars as Anna Kournikova. They are also popularized by Good Charlotte members Joel and Benji Madden.
- Skechers originally made utility boots and skate shoes, but they have since diversified to include trainers. They have also expanded to target the female audience, signing such stars as The Spice Girls for endorsements.
There are several different considerations when choosing the right athletic shoe:
|Ankle height||This is important, depending on your sport and your individual needs. |
- High-top shoes cover your ankle. If you need extra ankle support, consider a high-top style.
- Low-top shoes don’t cover the ankle. These are good for sports that require additional flexibility.
- Mid-cut shoes are cut between low-tops and high-tops.
|Flexibility||All trainers should have a flexible sole, but there are varying degrees of flexibility for different sports. For example, climbing shoes would have more flexible soles than basketball shoes.|
|Tread||This is the amount and type of traction on the sole of the shoe, and it varies by use. A hiking shoe needs heavy, durable traction for rough terrain; an indoor football boot needs a completely different type of traction.|
|Uppers||Athletic shoes are primarily defined by their soles, rather than the uppers. Depending on your style preferences, you can find sports shoes designed as sandals, mary janes, or even with high heels. A sandal style might be good for jogging on hot days, while high heels might be more appropriate for dancing.|
|Sock liners||This refers to the amount of cushioning in the interior of the shoe. For high-impact sports such as jogging or some types of aerobics, more cushioning will equate to more comfort and fewer injuries.|
|Underpronated||This is where the arch of the foot is high and does not make a normal contact with the ground. It is opposite to flat feet (overpronated).|