Just because I didn’t post last week doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten about fitness or that I haven’t been to the gym. I’m hanging in there, though life is conspiring to keep me hopping. I was reminded yet again how important it is to have the right equipment when you’re exercising. While that goes for things like helmets while biking or the right heft of weights, that also counts for what you’re wearing – and I was reminded of that again last week when I had an “oops” at Zumba.
Those are cute shoes, right? And they’re kind of sporty if you close your eye and squint and walk thirty feet away. They’re the shoes I run around in all day when I’m casual. And I change out of them into my workout shoes (which are indoor only, so I don’t wear them elsewhere) when I get to the gym.
Last week? I was running late thanks to some unexpected traffic and was running to scoot into class on time. I left my gym bag in my car rather than taking the time to go into the locker room and lock it away. I figured I could just grab it after class when I wanted to go take my shower. I’ve done it before, and I know I’ll do it again – except this time I forgot to grab my black workout shoes.
No biggie – I’ve got these on, right?
I forget sometimes how the little things can make such a difference. These shoes simply don’t have the same cushioning or support that my workout shoes do, and I could feel it by the end of the class. It wasn’t just that my feet were a little sore, though they were. It was really interesting to me that I was actually more fatigued than I usually am and felt unable to quite have the same oomph in my class that I normally do. Not having a pair of quality shoes makes a difference in my energy level when I’m trying to go all out for an hour straight.
The same goes for those black workout shoes, though. I’ve had them for almost a year now, and I can tell they’re starting to wear out. I’ve put a lot of miles on them. And with all the side to side sliding I’m doing in Zumba, I’ve realized that my next shoes need to be narrower around the balls of my feet. The shoes I have right now are adequate, but there are days when I develop blisters because my shoes don’t support my foot enough as I’m going left to right.
I remember when I was doing the Couch to 5K years ago. The first time I put on my new running shoes that were the ones that actually fit me properly, I was shocked by how much easier it was to run. I could run further and faster just because I was wearing good shoes. That amazed me then, and it still does now.
It isn’t just the shoes, though. When I run, I love wearing a running skirt because it keeps me from getting too hot (I don’t sweat, which is a problem) but it also keeps me comfortable because it has the legs under the skirt. That was one of my best investments ever.
And the crop pants I wear when I do other workouts? I have some that are years old and some that are pretty new. You wouldn’t think that things would change much for plain old workout pants, but they really have. Back in the day, they used to just be plain cotton stretch. Then they moved to a blend that held its shape better and was more comfortable. The fabric has changed again, and I’m consistently surprised when I wear the new ones and compare them to the old ones. The new ones breathe so much better, and they keep me cool much more effectively.
I don’t need to start on sports bras and where those have improved, right?
That said, I don’t have a whole wardrobe of new-fangled exercise wear. And that’s ok. I deal with what I have and add to it periodically, paying attention to the most important things. And really, for me, that’s my shoes. So no more “oopses” with my run around sneaks. And even my black workout shoes may be (ahem) getting the boot soon.
Have any good recommendations? What is your favorite exercise wear?