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I am looking for a pair of athletic shoes that I can wear for various sports. Despite martial arts being my main regular form of exercise, once in a while my friends will get together for an impromptu game of basketball, ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, or tennis.

For martial arts, we have our own flat-soled shoes with minimal cushioning. Outside of that, I have not owned any athletic sneakers since I started practicing kung fu. I have seen other questions on the site asking whether one shoe for one particular activity is also good for another. Some answers say that it's okay to use the same shoes, and others say there is a difference.

Is there a shoe that would be suited for the activities I listed? More specifically, is there any type of shoe that is suited for asphalt surface (the typical outdoor surface I play on)? Does one type of shoe make a difference over another for these activities?

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Given the diversity of the shoes that are marketed for these exercises (especially basketball and tennis), my guess is there isn't. However if its just 'for fun' and not really professional, then the choice might not be as important –  Ivo Flipse Dec 9 '11 at 16:28
    
The only type of shoe that I remember even considered an overall use for all sports, are cross-trainer shoes. –  William Andrus Dec 9 '11 at 22:19
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@WilliamAndrus I updated my question to state that I would mostly be playing on the typical outdoor asphalt surface at parks (but not limited to that). It sounds like cross-trainer shoes are what I'm seeking. Could you post it as an answer and state what it is about them that makes them suited for overall use? –  Matt Chan Dec 13 '11 at 13:46

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Usually Cross Trainer Shoes are overall best, except for Jogging, since they are designed with enough support and cushion.

It is not a difficult task to buy training shoes, but finding the best cross training shoes is a challenge. These shoes are versatile, comfortable, cushioning and provide the basic support, stability and durability required for many games and sport activities. These shoes are not recommended for regular runners as they do not give the kind of cushioning and flexibility required by sprint training shoes. These cross training shoes are also heavier than running shoes.

There are three special features of cross training shoes which meets the need for many sporting activities.

Multi-Purpose Outsoles The wide and stable outsoles give lateral support and stability. If your foot tends to turn or roll inwards, these shoes may help reduce this tendency. These shoes have durable outsoles that can be worn on the street, gym or tennis courts. They are made from durable carbon rubber. A combination of carbon rubber and softer, lighter, flexible material known as blown rubber is used for making long-lasting outsoles.

Low Profile Midsoles Cross training shoes offer moderate cushioning at the heel and forefoot of the shoe, which is durable and dense. This enhances the overall stability of the shoe. The two main materials used for cushioning these shoes are ethylene vinyl acetate and polyurethane. Ethylene vinyl acetate is lightweight but does not offer stability and durability. Polyurethane, on the other hand helps make a dense and durable cushioning material. It adds stability and weight to the shoe.

Uppers Cross training shoes have leather uppers which are designed to give better ankle support. Leather uppers are combined with a synthetic mesh that makes the shoe breathable and lightweight. One should opt for secure lacing system as it helps in stabilizing and securing the foot during lateral movements.

Source: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/best-cross-training-shoes.html

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