Father’s Day Gift Guide 2014

You may be stuck on finding a Father’s Day Gift this year and if your Dad is an outdoor enthusiast that enjoys taking long hikes through the wilderness or running his favourite trails it may be a little tricky knowing which gear to choose.  At Fitness Footwear we know a thing or two about outdoor sporting gear so we have pulled together a helpful Father’s Day Gift Guide that will help find the perfect pressie.

Walking & Hiking Gear

FD OutdoorIf your Dad enjoys trailing mud through the house after a long days hike or after time away camping there are plenty of quality products to pick from including boots and shoes ready to take on just about any kind of terrain thrown at them like the incredible Brasher Fellmaster Boots which have technical features like GORETEX.  Other lighter shoes include the extremely popular Merrell Jungle Mocs which are great for everything from casual wear to light walks in the outdoors.  As the summer weather isn’t always guaranteed to be sunny we have a range of jackets like the Jack Wolfskin Turbulence Softshell which is light, water and wind resistant, breathable and allows for a lot of freedom of movement so it’s perfect whether carried just in case or giving protection from the elements.

Running Gear

FD RunningAs there are a number of different types of routes that can be run we have everything covered with shoes and clothing for trail running, road & marathon running, barefoot running and more so if your Dad has a particular favourite place to run it is easy to find the right gear best suited to it.  Not only do we have pairs of trainers like the much sought after Salomon Speedcross 3 shoes that any runner will find reliable and comfy even after hours of use but we also stock an array of active base layers for all kinds of weather.  Help your Dad find the best performance while training or out on his chosen route with an Under Armour Heat Gear Sonic Compression base layer top and the Nike Core Compression 2.0 running shorts both of which make it easy to keep cool and support the muscles during activity.

Essential Accessories

FD EAYou may have a Dad who has all of the outdoor gear he needs or need just a little something extra or affordable if on a budget so we have put together a few ideas for Essential Accessories that are must haves on any hiking trip or running trail.  Hydration is a key factor in any sporting activity so why not give him a Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle which is not only perfect for keeping liquids hot and cold but is made from materials that are toxin and BPA free so it’s the safest way to drink.  Sports socks are another great addition to any avid hiker or athlete as they can add more comfort, muscle support, cooling and an improved fit just like the Thorlo Light Hiking Coolmax Crew walking socks thanks to technical fabrics and constructions.  If your Father loses track of the time while in the outdoors and you have a little extra to spend why not look at the Suunto Quest watch to help him not only time his run but also keep an eye on details like location with GPS, the cumulative distance travelled, altitude and more so he won’t be late for dinner again.

Posted in Athletic Shoes, Base Layers, Brasher, Climbing Shoes, Hiking Boots, Jack Wolfskin, Klean Kanteen, Merrell, Miscellaneous, Mountain Jackets, Nike, Running Clothing, Running Shoes, Salomon, Suunto, Thorlo, Under Armour, Walking Shoes, Walking Socks, Water Bottles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Find the right Running Shoes

While it may seem like buying the most popular or positively reviewed pair of running shoes is the best choice to make, they may not be ideal for you.  There are surprisingly a few key things to take into consideration when choosing the right pair that may not be immediately obvious to you but with this guide you will have a better idea of how to find the pair of running footwear the best suits you personally.

Running ShoesKnow your own feet

Understanding your own two feet is crucial in finding the most effective pair as being wider or slimmer than average or knowing whether or not you have high, low or no arches at all can determine what fit to go for.  As the shape and structure of your feet determines how you walk and run making the incorrect choice can lead to long-term damage and injury.

Another important factor to be aware of is the pronation of your feet which is how you move with each foot strike in both pushing off and landing while running or walking.  Knowing how you naturally do this is extremely important as there are certain types of footwear better suited to specific feet.  On average your pronation will either be ‘Neutral’ which means you push off equally with all toes and land evenly, ‘Over’ which is when you push off with your big toes and your feet turn inwards or ‘Under’ which sees the use of your little toes to push off causing you feet to turn outwards.  In the latter two cases it may be advisable to look at buying a pair specially designed to help negate the effects.

Your Running Route

Knowing the route you are planning on running is important as there are a number of different factors that will determine what you wear from kinds of surfaces, trails and potential climate conditions that can vary.

  • Training – If you spend the bulk of your time in the gym on a treadmill then you need a lightweight pair with decent support and protection.
  • On road/Marathon – Roads, paths and hard routes require a durable pair of running shoes with plenty of cushioning and shock absorbing impact zones.  Shoes with breathable fabrics are also handy to help keep you cooler.
  • Trail Running – Again tough, hard wearing shoes are essential with cushioning, supportive midsoles and impact protection feature as well.  Some have water resistant or waterproof features like GORE-TEX which is a must as are decent sized lugs and treads for grip.  Lightweight and low heels and midsoles are also preferable.
  • Barefoot Running – Barefoot running shoes simulate the feel of running without any footwear but offer protection from the hard ground at the same time.

A new pair of Shoes

You have to be careful with any new pair of shoes as you need to ensure they are suitable for you.  While you need to break in any footwear before you can get used to them properly don’t start running outdoors immediately.  Try them on indoors first, check the fit and feel is comfortable and you have plenty of natural flex.  Once you’re happy with them and you don’t need to return them (you can’t once their worn outside) then try walking or do a light run at the gym or around the block.  Any pair of running trainers may take a short time to ease up and not feel stiff but once they feel natural it’s time to put them through paces.  Be aware however that if you start feeling any pain or discomfort it may not be because you’ve just run a few miles, check on your foot or feet where it hurts and see if it is something as simple as over or under-tightening of the laces or even your pronation.  If you work on a solution sooner the less likely you are to cause a prolonged injury that can lead to other issues.

Buying your first pair

Keep these factors in mind when looking for the ideal pair of running shoes and ensure you read all of the technical spec of each one you like the look of as this will tell you what it contains and what type of route it’s suitable for.  If you are still unsure speak to runners you know, at the gym or even speak to running groups online as many are happy to offer their knowledge plus check out online reviews as well to see how they have fared for experienced runners around the world.

There are a number of brands available to pick from such as Merrell, New Balance and On Running and certain ones like Vibram Five Fingers and Vivo specialise in barefoot shoes and each has a wide range depending on the type you want to what you can afford as you don’t need the latest premium technical footwear right away which you could pay a fortune for.  You can view the latest and bestselling Running Shoes at Fitness Footwear.

Posted in Asics, Merrell, Mizuno, New Balance, North Face, On Running, Reebok, Running Shoes, Saucony, Skechers, The North Face, Under Armour, Vibram five fingers, Vivo Barefoot | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off