How to Buy the Right Trainers for You

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How to Buy the Right Trainers for You

Trainers are purchased from many high street retailers, shoe shoppes, sports stores, and department stores. You will also find trainers online at many different shoe or sports related websites, and eBay has a large selection of trainers to fit every budget and shoe shape, as well as offerings of different trainers for all types of sports. Because of the different styles of trainers, it is quite confusing trying to determine which type is right for you. Not only do you have to consider what the trainers are used for, such as a particular sport or as simple casual wear, but you also have to consider the shape, size, and condition of your feet.

For sports wear, a pair of court shoes for a weekly tennis game is not be suitable or comfortable if you plan on running a marathon. When buying trainers for sports, you should not allow the look of the shoe to influence your decisions, instead you should concentrate on things such as the comfort of the shoes, how much padding they have, whether they are suitable for your chosen sport, and if they are the correct size.

Different Types of Trainers

Trainers or athletic shoes are typically categorised into seven separate groups. Each group consists of a few different, loosely related sports.

Running, Walking, and Training

This group includes trainers for jogging, walking, and hiking. When purchasing trainers for walking or hiking, make sure that you look for shoes with soft and comfortable uppers, smooth tread with shock absorption, and also rocker soles that help encourage the natural movement of the feet while walking. For jogging shoes, purchase shoes that offer plenty of cushioning, stability, and control in the heel area, enough flexibility and traction, and which are relatively lightweight.

Field Sports

This category includes trainers for baseball, rugby, soccer, and American style football. This type of shoe is normally spiked, studded, or cleated. The exact configuration depends on the sport, but typically the cleats, studs, or spikes are detachable so that they can be quickly replaced.

Court Sports

Basketball, tennis, volleyball, and other court sports are included here. Because many court sports require the body to move in all directions, most court sport shoes have to be sturdy and able to take a lot of abuse. The most important part of court shoes is the sole, because it has to be strong and non-slip. Of course, the shoes also have to be comfortable.

Track and Field

There are many different types of trainers manufactured that are suitable for track and field sports This is because every person has slightly different needs. There are trainers for different foot types, training styles, and gait patterns. If you are planning on participating in a track and field sport, you will benefit from asking your coach or a seasoned athlete what type of trainers are best for you.

Other Sports Categories

There are some categories which most people do not wear trainers for. These include winter sports, speciality sports, and outdoor sports.

Foot Types

There are three very different types of foot shapes and each needs support in different places. It is important to know your foot shape and to choose the correct type of trainers, because the wrong type of shoe is very uncomfortable and can cause pain and possibly even injury. The best way to find out what foot shape you have is to conduct a wet foot test. To do this, simply wet your foot and then step onto a wooden floor or something else that shows your footprint, then note the shape of the footprint left behind.

Normal Foot

This foot shape leaves a footprint which allows you to easily see the toes, ball of the foot, and the heel area. The centre of the foot has a wide, curved band, and there is only a small space indicating the arch area.

Flat Foot

A flat foot leaves a footprint that has no recognisable arch or inward curve. Instead, it leaves a wide footprint that appears to have no arches.

High Arch Foot

A high arched footprint shows the clearly visible heel, ball of the foot, and toes. But note that there is a large gap in the centre area and only a very thin band on the outer edge of the foot.

Trainer Fitting Tips

Finding the right type of trainer for the sport that you wish to participate in is extremely important, however, it is not the only thing that needs to be taken into consideration. When purchasing a new pair of trainers you also need to find a pair that fits correctly so that you are comfortable while wearing them.

Lace It Up

With any trainer, your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe, but it should not be tight. While the shoe is laced up, but not tied, your foot should easily slide out of the shoe. When lacing up your shoe, you should lace through the top eyelets to help stop your foot from slipping inside the shoes. There should be a little heel movement, but it should not be excessive or uncomfortable.

The Upper

The shoe's upper should fit securely across the instep but not be overly tight. If you feel a tightness or pressure across the instep area, then the shoe is not the right size for you. However, if the shoe is comfortable and seems to fit well, but feels a little tight underneath the lace area, use a different lacing technique to loosen up the laces a little.


While wearing the trainer, you should be able to move your foot a little from side to side in the front of the shoe without your foot moving over the edge of the insole. You should also be able to pinch approximately a quarter of an inch of material across the widest section of your foot. If you cannot, or if you feel your little toe pressing on the edge of the shoe, then the shoe is too narrow and you should try another size.

Room to Wiggle

Over the course of the day, and especially during exercise, your feet will lengthen and swell. Because of this, ensure that you have a little space between your longest toe and the end of the shoes, and about a thumb's width space is perfect. You should always be able to comfortably wiggle your toes without any part of the shoe obstructing them.

Flex the Shoe

All trainers, regardless of their intended use should be flexible and flex in the correct area. To check this, while you are not wearing the shoes, hold the heel area of each foot and press the tip of both shoes toward the floor. The trainers should bend in the same general area that your feet flex. If the bend or flex point is in the wrong area, it makes wearing the trainers uncomfortable, and it can also cause foot and lower leg problems such as arch pain, calf strain, and plantar fascitis.


It is important to find trainers that closely match the contour of your arches, and in order to correctly check this, you need to walk in them. While walking, you should feel the shoes gently supporting your arch area, if you do not and if either of your arches begin to cramp, or if you feel that there is too much support, consider purchasing another pair of shoes.


When wearing trainers, many people find that their feet sweat. If the shoes do not allow for adequate airflow, this can cause blisters or make feet slide around inside the shoes. Because of this, it is important to find trainers that promote airflow and allow the feet to breathe.

Common Trainer Buying Mistakes

There are a few common mistakes that many people make when purchasing new shoes or trainers. If possible, these mistakes should be avoided.

Buying a Trainer Because of Looks

If you are purchasing a fashion shoe, then you purchase for looks. However, if you are purchasing a trainer for sports wear, you should concentrate more on the fit and feel of the shoe rather than the look.

Buying a Trainer That is Too Small

A tight fitting trainer causes pain and blisters and may cause discolouration of toenails. A loose fitting trainer allows your foot to move around too much and could fall off. A properly fitted shoe should fit comfortably and snugly while allowing about a half an inch of room at the front for the toes to move.

Shopping at the Wrong Time of Day

During the day your feet swell and elongate. Because of this, you should always purchase trainers or other shoes during the later part of the day, preferably during the evening.

Finding the Right Trainers on eBay

eBay has a large selection of trainers which are available in many different styles, sizes, designs, and for many different sports. Begin your search for trainers on the eBay homepage. If you are looking for some trainers for a particular sport, you can simply type in descriptive keywords in the search bar. For example, if you are searching for tennis trainers, you can type in either "court trainers" or "tennis trainers" into the search bar. You can then refine your search by using the menu to pick a category such as "women's shoes", and by picking size, style, or condition of the shoes.

However, before finishing your purchase and committing to buying the shoes, you should double check to make sure that the seller is willing to exchange or refund the shoes if you find that they do not fit correctly. If you cannot find the information readily available, you can contact the seller directly by going to its member profile and clicking on the contact link.


When purchasing a new pair of trainers it is not only important to buy a pair that works well for the sport you plan to participate in, but it is also important that they are comfortable and that they fit correctly. Badly fitting trainers cause many problems such as sore feet, blisters, back and body aches, and damage to the feet, ankles, and knees. Before purchasing a new pair of trainers, you should determine your foot type by performing the wet foot test. You should then consider the purpose of the trainers, such as, will you wear them around the house as a comfortable pair of shoes, or will you participate in a sport while wearing them. You should also make sure that you purchase a pair of trainers that provide enough airflow, which helps your feet stay cool and dry and minimizes the risk of blisters and pressure sores.

If you are looking for the perfect pair of trainers that are right for you which match your foot shape and the sport you play, you will find that eBay has a wide selection available, allowing you to find and buy the right pair of trainers for your specific needs.

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