How to Choose High-Tech Sneakers

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How to Choose High-Tech Sneakers

Choosing a pair of sneakers used to be a straightforward task. Shoppers simply walked into a store and picked the best-looking sneaker. However, that has all changed. Today, modern sneakers do not only come in different shapes and forms, they also feature different types of supporting technology geared to fit with different activity types. To buy the right pair of high-tech sneakers, shoppers need to consider the material and technology, understand the anatomy of sneakers, and know how to choose sneakers based on an activity.

 

Consider the Material and Technology Used

During the 1960s, sneakers typically came with an all-canvas and leather upper construction and rubber soles. Companies now enlist a wider range of materials when creating the right sneaker. Different materials offer various benefits.

 

Material

Description

Kangaroo leather

Adds elasticity to the sneaker for added spring

Common in football shoes

Foam-blown polyurethane

Delivers extra cushioning

Common in cross trainers

Thermoplastic polyurethane

Makes a shoe pliable and strong

Kevlar

Comes with 10 times the strength of leather

Ideal for hiking

 

In addition to these, high-tech shoes typically feature a unique plastic known as ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). EVA comes with tiny bubbles in its build that absorb shock and cushion the feet of the wearer. Most high-tech shoes, particularly running shoes, come with EVA soles because of the type of support they give to the feet.

That said, the exact materials and technology used in manufacturing sneakers varies with different companies, particularly with industry-leading giants, such as Adidas, Nike, and Puma. For instance, Adidas hi-tech sneakers come with BOOST technology, a material that offers better cushioning support then EVA foam. PUMA offers MOBIUM, a technology that allows the sole to expand and contract alongside the foot of the wearer for optimal cushioning comfort. In 2013, Nike unveiled the SHOX technology. Nike SHOX sneakers feature a revolutionary design comprised of resilient foam columns that cushion the weight of the wearer to reduce impact-related injuries.

 

Understand the Anatomy of a Sneaker

Shoe companies constantly update their lineup of shoes, retiring old models while introducing new models that feature new technology. Because of this, instead of only focusing on a particular brand, the Academy of Podiatric Sport Medicine (APSM) recommends that shoppers also familiarize themselves with the key features of any sneaker. Doing this ensures that buyers can identify the right shoe for their needs, regardless of the brand.

 

Features

Description

Material

Outsole

Bottom of the shoe

Typically made of engineered rubber: carbon rubber or blow rubber

Upper

Part of the shoe that secures the foot to the sole

Connects to midsole

Leather or fabric

Midsole

Comes between the upper and outsole

Contains cushioning element that provides stability and comfort

Polyurethane, ethylene vinyl acetate, closed cel foam (EVA)

 

Modern sneakers also come with a shank, which assists the shoe in bending, and stiffens the arch to make it more resistant to friction. Shanks are common features within running shoes.

 

Choose Hi-Tech Sneakers Based on the Type of Activity

In addition to choosing shoes that fit with a person's foot style, podiatrists advise that shoppers consider the type of activity in which they are going to engage. Most of the popular sporting brands offer sneakers designed for a particular type of activity.

Cross Trainers

Cross trainers support a wide range of activities, such as running, walking, and engaging in other sports. A good pair of cross trainers should come with flexibility in the forefoot and an overall good lateral control. Although they are an effective choice for simple everyday use, cross trainers are not ideal for shoppers who intend to engage in a particular activity regularly.

Walking Sneakers

When shopping for walking sneakers, buyers should look for shoes that offer shock absorption in the heel, and particularly around the ball of the foot. Hiking shoes offer more rigidity than running shoes.

Running

Running shoes offer a more flexible build around the toe area. They also come with good cushioning around the ankles for shock absorption and deliver good heel control.

Tennis

Tennis shoes offer more stability on the outside and inside of the foot to allow for the rapid acceleration and sudden changes in direction that are common during tennis. Tennis shoes also offer more flexibility beneath the ball of the foot.

 

How to Buy High-Tech Sneakers on eBay

eBay's wide selection of athletic footwear makes it easy to find the right sneaker for your needs. To assist with your search, each eBay page comes with an intuitive search tool. You can narrow down your search to particular shoes by typing out the specific brand, such as "Reebok sneakers," or the type of activity for which you plan to use them, such as "walking sneakers." Doing this populates a shortlist of related options. If you have any special physical or aesthetic needs, you may want to consider buying customized sneakers.

 

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