I’m not the kind of girl that has a closet full of shoes. In fact, I usually keep only 4 pairs: Hiking shoes, sneakers, sandals and some sort of more “formal” shoe like a docker. Each has a specific purpose and the sneaker is the most worn. When it wears out, I buy a new, cheap pair usually at a Walmart type store. I don’t feel the need to spend money on shoes.
But then when I tore my calf muscle last year playing frisbee, walking became almost impossible. Even after two months every step was painful and slow. One day, I wore my hiking shoes and realized that the tight, stiff shoe around my foot and ankle, helped to stabilize my calf muscle. But wearing hiking boots wasn’t really an everyday option. So instead, I finally went to the mall, and bought some sturdy New Balance sneakers.
It was the first time I have ever spent $100 on a pair of shoes, and I loved it. I walk a lot, and I felt a major difference both with my hurt leg, and later, in my general walking. I originally chose New Balance simply for the fact that they have western sizes and I liked their retro designs, but now I am sold for life. The thick soles, the tight fabric, and strong laces really appeals to me. After six-months of daily use, I had thoroughly destroyed my shoes and went back for another pair. I do everything in these shoes, including playing badminton.
But I had heard there was a special shoe for badminton and I figured I better get the right equipment for the right sport. So I just bought a pair! Unlike my New Balance sneakers, these are light and low. Badminton shoes are more yielding and lower to the ground than sneakers for a reason. The thick soles which are so good for walking, are terrible on the court. Badminton has a lot of quick stops and turns on the sides of your foot, and with a tall sole, you can easily turn or roll your ankle. Badminton shoes are low to the ground and have a sort of grabby, gummy surface on the bottom, helping you stop quicker and with less friction, while giving more ankle support.
But the best part is this gummy bottom makes for an especially squeaky shoe. Not on concrete, but pretty much every other surface it makes a small “squeak, squeak, squeak,” like I’m kicking a baby mouse with every step. And there is nothing that makes you feel like a champion as imagining you are crushing mice with every step you take.
For those who are interested my shoe is Artengo brand from Decathalon.