The importance of having a good and comfortable pair of shoes cannot be underestimated. Whether you’re wearing shoes as a fashion statement or to serve a specific purpose like running, walking, hiking or CrossFit, good shoes form the basis of proper posture and save you from hours of pain and discomfort.

It’s easy to buy a pair of generic shoes (think of cheap fabric superglued to some ice-cream sticks) and call it a day, but skimping on proper footwear can lead to long-term side effects like improper posture and even prolonged aches and pains. When you’re going to be walking on something for 8+ hours a day, it is imperative that you pick the right pair based on fit, comfort, and performance.

A decent pair of shoes will last you a long time depending on how well you take care of them and they don’t necessarily need to be expensive to be considered “good”. Here are a few reasons why shoes are important:

 

Prevent Injuries, Bruises, and Infections:  

Back in the early days when our civilization was primitive, the Earth was believed to be flat and man was nothing more than a traveling nomad, people fashioned their shoes out of animal skin and wood. Even our ancestors knew that proper footwear was essential for survival (and they didn’t have the internet to educate them). By avoiding cuts, bruises and other debris that could cause an infection, our predecessors had a higher probability of living a longer and healthier life simply by having a better, sturdier pair of shoes. They also served as a status symbol amongst the elite and the practice of judging someone based on their footwear is quite an old tradition. Shoes were also the first thing that was looted from the bodies of defeated soldiers.

 

Shoes are grippy!

It’s not exactly ideal trying to hike or mountain-climb barefoot (unless you’re trying to prove a point). Shoes not only protect your feet from burns and bruises, they also provide grip on the uneven terrain around you. If your footwear has ankle support, this is even better as you’re much less likely to twist your ankles while it’s caught between a rock and a hard place (get it?).

It is generally not a good idea to do any kind of strenuous activity without using proper footwear. You not only run the risk of damage and injury, you’re also highly likely to need more time for recovery especially with those nasty blisters all over your feet.

 

Shoes help fix your posture:

We as humans don’t have perfect posture due to the many minor differences in our bone structure. Many people will often have one leg slightly shorter or longer than the other and all of these factors contribute to a diminished posture. A good pair of shoes will undoubtedly not only improve posture but also fix it in the long run. Proper footwear will keep your legs, back and shoulders aligned while distributing the load of your body evenly.

Though aficionados of barefoot running might claim that running barefoot is good for your posture, generic shoes from a discount store might make a valid argument for their claim. Cheap store-bought shoes will negatively affect your posture and cause feet and back pains in the long run (pun intended). There is a reason why shoe manufacturers like Adidas and Nike spend billions of dollars in research and development. Not all shoes are created equal and more often than not, generic shoes will do you more harm than good.

 

Shoes provide comfort and cushion:

Research done on foot biomechanics indicates that the average person exerts a force on their feet between four to seven times body weight while walking and up to 10x body weight (!) while running. There is an enormous amount of pressure acting on your joints and feet, and it’s generally not a good idea to do any heavy running or jumping barefoot. A good pair provides cushion and comfort by absorbing shock during strides. Different shoes use different filler material in their soles like gel or compression foam to accomplish this task. Generally, a pair of quality shoes will provide comfort and cushioning during those long walks on the beach or while performing a series of jumping squats during an intense workout. It cannot be emphasized enough that good shoes will keep you injury free and maximize the results of your workout.

 

Shoes are a symbol of style and fashion:

There’s no denying that there is a lot to be said about a person based purely on the type of shoes they wear. Shoes come in a variety of styles and price points. On the high-end of the spectrum, we have designer shoes like Buscemi, Balenciaga, and Gucci, while on the more practical side, we have your standard Adidas, Nike, and Reebok. Depending on which bank you have robbed (just kidding), you can buy a few pairs to go with all your outfits and give it that much-needed flair and panache.

Made out of a plethora of materials and colors, today’s trendy footwear make a bold statement about your style and fashion choices. When picked correctly, shoes can not only compliment your outfit, but they also give you an air of confidence and authority. Whether you’re a smart-shoe-wearing Wall Street banker or a Yeezy toting hipster, a pair of good kicks can earn you a well-deserved round of compliments from those around you. When paired correctly, shoes can be a versatile utility that forms an integral part of your wardrobe. It’s normal (and practical) these days for an individual to have multiple pairs of shoes in different colors to keep things fresh.