New Spinning Feature: Choosing your footwear
JUST TO CLARIFY THIS IS NOT A HAND-BALANCE BUT A STILL OF ME JUMPING
Anyway, I need to mention that I am not anti-cardio because there are trainers who have a dogmatic anti-cardio stance and state that it creates oxidative stress, leads to ageing, even fat-gain!!! Check out this article
Now don’t get me wrong, I am almost a Poliquin worshipper and this is a great research-based article. However, bodytypes play a big part and yes for certain people these points ring true. Truth is, I have seen people who have done nothing all their lives but cardio and endurance training and they look fantastic for thier age.
So I have started this feature on spinnning as its popularity continues to grow and so it should. Even the big musclemen are getting involved. What better way is there to do cardio?
So will start by giving my take on what footwear to use. Obviously you have your supa-dupa cycling shoes which are very specialist, can be awkward and bloody expensive but probably a good investment. Here’s a rundown on cycling shoes by a ‘pro’
Most of us however want something a little more conventional and that is fine as all spin bikes have clips on the pedals. However, the trainers that most of you will have picked up from Niketown or Sports direct probably aren’t the best choice for spin. In cycling you want to maximise the use of the ball of your foot so like with the spin shoes select a pair of trainers with a pointy toe. This is what I went for
Yes, I do have good taste 😉 A pointy toe allows one to concentrate the force in the forefoot area. The second thing I looked for was a thin sole; I felt that a thick sole from regular sneakers just doesn’t give me that feeling of contact with the pedals. There is also the theory that a thick sole allows energy to get lost and dissipated which may lead to early fatigue (it’s just a theory).
Finally I looked for something light and these are superlight and light means breathable feet. However, light means flimsy and this is where a debate arises. I actually prefer flimsy so that my toes can still curl up. Cycling shoes are rigid on the premise that this will give better support to the foot. I had a little debate on this issue with my colleague Tom Joka and felt funny about trying to go toe-to-toe against someone with a phD, who recently cycled from Poland to London!! Still, I teach 5 classes a week and with an intense collection of sprints and climbs I believe that if my feet are kept too rigid for so long and so often my lower legs will not like it and could result in calf strains or ankle sprains (again my opinion). I have the tightest calfs in the world yet no problems thus far, touch wood, and I always go for flimsy and floppy. In any case, it is hard to find light and rigid unless it is a proper cycling shoe.
Best thing though, I can wear these trainers casually too so there’s a lighter gym bag, hooray.
Look out for more posts about spinning but if you haven’t already, join the spin revolution.
Read my next post ‘Choosing the wrong footwear in spinning’ where I explain how choosing the pumas was totally the wrong choice. Rigid footwear is what we want not flimsy.