When you catch the kickboxing class bug, you’re in for a high-energy workout that incorporates fun in all sorts of ways – from music to colorful kickboxing outfits. You also achieve a top-notch calorie burn. While the kickboxing-specific clothing you wear to class often appears crazy, it’s designed to be functional in that it wicks moisture and moves with you. Your footwear also requires serious consideration.
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Choose cross trainers, also called training shoes, over running shoes. You’ll be turning and sliding frequently, and running shoes have too much tread to accommodate such moves. Too much tread also makes it tough to skip rope, which you may do or mimic during class.
Seek shoes that offer good lateral support. Kickboxing requires frequent side-to-side movement, so it’s important to have footwear that helps prevent your ankle and foot from rolling. This helps you avoid strains and sprains to the tendons and ligaments in your ankle. A wraparound lacing system adds to stability for zig-zagging and other sideways movements. Shoes that offer a wide outsole also help with lateral stability. However, also seek an outsole that is flexible, especially in the forefoot.
Kickboxing is a high-impact workout, so purchase shoes that offer plenty of cushioning, especially in the ball of the foot where most of your impact will occur. Also look for good heel cushioning. An alternative is choosing a shoe with a removable foot bed liner that allows you to insert your own supportive insole or custom-made orthotics, according to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.
Shoes with leather uppers are more durable than shoes with synthetic uppers. However, if you desire more air flow and better breathability, choose mesh uppers. If you attend kickboxing classes regularly, you’ll need to replace your shoes every four to six months. Dedicate your shoes to indoor use only so you don’t lose traction or shorten their lifespan.