If you ever want to get the most of your workout, it’s not just your form you need to pay attention to. Sure, a good pair of leggings and a comfy sports bra is necessary to keep everything in its right place and your body feeling its best. But when it comes to what can affect your performance and your ability to do squats and burpees time and time again, sneakers really matter. Good ones can help prevent injury and reduce impact on your joints, while improper ones can cause you discomfort, mess with your form, and possibly cause unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles. This is all something that I actually recently learned from Jennifer Lopez’s trainer, Johanna Sapakie.
- Johanna Sapakie, aerial acrobat, choreographer, dancer, and virtual personal trainer
In what feels like winning a lottery pick, I had the opportunity to take a class with Sapakie via FlexIt, a fitness app that allows you to work virtually with a trainer in a one-to-one session. And as you can imagine, my session with Sapakie was pretty intense. She comes from a background of aerial acrobatics, ballet, and dance, so there was no slacking allowed. But in our short 30 minutes together, she taught me the key to strengthening my glutes, and underscored the importance of choosing a supportive sneaker.
“If your feet aren’t supported, you feel it in your knees, in your back, it radiates up your body,” Sapakie said. The "it" she's referring to is the tension and stress that can happen throughout the body as a result of the interconnectedness of your muscles. There's different tendons and nerves that run through the legs, hips and ankles that also connect to your feet. That said, your sneakers aren't just there to protect your lower half, but those other parts of your body as well. And for that, Sapakie is a huge fan of Mizuno shoes.
“Mizunos are super supportive. I need a lot of good arch support, and Mizunos [offer that], [and] a really good shape for anyone with a wider foot. They have a lot of width in them,” says Sapakie. “Because I'm running and pounding my feet all day long, for me, they really help support all of my body."
For some of the best Mizuno shoes to snag, take a look at the picks below.
If you’re looking for a shoe to anchor you during your uptempo exercises, this is going to be your go-to sneaker. It provides a ton of support thanks to the MIZUNO COB outsole, which gives you extra traction and ability to change directions quickly during agility workouts. Not to mention, it has a double layer of mesh to help keep your feet cool and increase durability.
The best part of this shoe is how light it is. You really feel like you’re walking on a cloud because of the G3 Mizuno Lite cushion and the G3 outsole. The outsole provides a lot of grip to anchor you to the ground, but isn’t heavy so you can lift and pick up speed when you need to.
This shoe is another that’s good for multiple workouts. It’s got the same MIZUNO ENERZY Foam to cushion your foot and give your feet some support and a secure fit. Plus, it’s super breathable because of the special Waveknit fabric that gives your feet room to air out.
FYI, Mizuno has come a long way in the sneaker world since the brand first formed in 1906. Up until the '70s, they were primarily known for making sporting equipment and clothing for baseball, golf and other sports. But that began to change after the launch of their first everyday athletic shoe in 1972 called the M-Line. Since then, they've created a number of shoes tailor-made for different workouts and physical activity. This includes top styles like the Wave Rider and the Wave Inspire. Their shoes are known for their unique technology, which prioritize both stability and cushioning. It's this combo that's clearly the reason why Sapakie is a fan—and why I'll be surely bringing a pair to our next session.
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