Any athletic effort, believe or not, needs to start with your feet. Wearing the correct athletic shoe will provide the stability, support and comfort your feet need for the activity you are involved in. An athlete’s performance can be hindered or improved by the kind of athletic shoe that is worn.
Where You Should Start When Looking For an Athletic Shoe
First of all, it is important to remember that an athletic shoe should be purchased at a reputable sporting goods or shoe store with employees who know how to fit shoes properly. Each person has a unique foot shape and gait pattern and these two elements come into play when choosing an appropriate athletic shoe. For this reason, it is advisable to come in and see Dr. Harvey Danciger, foot specialist in Palm Desert, CA and have your feet looked at before starting the shopping process.
Dr. Danciger can do a thorough examination of your foot structure and gait and also identify potential problems to be aware of. With this information, he will be able to recommend the type of athletic shoe your feet need in order to be comfortable and avoid injury.
How to Select the Right Athletic Shoe
Many athletes make the mistake of believing that style and cost doesn’t matter and that a simple tennis shoe will suffice for most activities. If you are an athlete in need of new shoes, start with choosing a shoe that is made for the sport you are involved in. Sport-specific shoes are designed in such a way as to protect your feet and ankles for the demands of that sport. The material, lacing, weight, height and type of sole will vary according to the sport the shoe is made for.
When purchasing a new pair of shoes, keep the following tips in mind:
- A good athletic shoe should fit well, be comfortable and well constructed.
- Try shoes on later in the day or after a work out when since feet swell over the course of the day.
- Bring the socks you would wear while playing to ensure a good fit.
- Look for the sole to be flexible at the ball of the foot.
- Choose a shoe with good arch support and plenty of wiggle room for your toes.
- When trying on a shoe, take the time to lace them properly and walk or run a few steps to make sure they are comfortable from the start.
- If the shoe does not grip your foot or your heel slips, you will be at risk for blisters and skin irritations.
Know the Qualities of Athletic Shoes for Different Sports
Athletic shoes can be grouped into categories depending on the sport(s) they were designed for. If you are going to put some serious time into a sport, make the investment into a shoe specifically for that sport. A running shoe is going to be good for running, jogging, walking and light hiking. It will have good shock absorption, a comfortable upper, cushioning and good traction. A court shoe on the other hand will be for tennis, basketball and volleyball. It will have a good sole for traction and strong support for feet and ankles. Field shoes are made for soccer, football and baseball and will have studs, spikes or cleats.
If you have concerns about your feet or need help finding an athletic shoe that will meet the demands of your feet and your sport, make an appointment with Dr. Danciger. He treats athletes on a regular basis and will be able to get you back in the game in no time. Call our office at (760) 568-0108.