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Choosing sports shoes
Tips for Choosing Trainers & Sports Shoes
By We Fix Feet 23rd January 2017

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Choose shoes for the specific sporting activity intended and above all, ensure they are a good fit for your feet.  Have them fitted – try them on and ensure your feet are comfortable in them.  Don’t rely on the guide size printed on the box!

Running Shoes

Running shoes are designed for running and shouldn’t be used for other sports.  They are very flexible and allow your foot to flex and bend  with each step.  However, they’re not suitable for sports such as squash or tennis that involve sideways step-movement.   Running shoes should be properly fitted to suit your foot type, as wearing shoes that are too small will cause trauma to your toenails and blisters to your skin.

Try to choose a specialist retailer who recognises the specific requirements of running shoes, rather than a fashion-retailer.   The retailer should be able to assess your foot and find the right shoe for you.   It is recommended that in conjunction with purchasing new running shoes, gait analysis may be advantageous to assist you in purchasing the correct type of running shoe and orthotic insoles to aid with stability and avoid over-pronation or over-supination – both of which could lead to injury whilst you’re running.  You may find booking a Biomechanical Assessment and Gait Analysis with We Fix Feet to be advantageous.

General Sports Shoes

General sports shoes offer a good design for basketball, tennis, squash and netball.   These provide for a good level of flexibility and sideways support.

Fitness/Aerobics Shoes

Fitness shoes are designed for aerobics and dancing.  They combine cushioning to absorb impact and lesson shock to the foot with support and flexibility.

Football Boots

A lot of stress can be put on your feet whilst playing football.   Playing on artificial turf or other hard surfaces can be particularly stressful on you feet.   Football boots area usually tight fitting and in themselves can exert pressure on your feet, causing corns and calluses, damaged and thickened nails, or can be the cause of ingrown toenails.

Therefore, it is essential to wear a pair of well-fitting boots that after your game or training session shouldn’t show any signs of pressure, pinching or rubbing on your feet.

Tennis & Squash Shoes

Racquet sports, such as squash or tennis require specifically designed shoes for the purpose as these sports involve a lot of side-to-side movement.  Therefore a standard running shoe cannot offer the correct stability to support your feet whilst under pressure and rigours of your game.

Normally, racquet sport shoes are stiffer and heavier than running shoes.   The shoe toes are built for stop and go action and therefore comfort should be your primary priority.   Such stresses on your shoes will mean that these shoes need to be replaced more frequently than other sports shoes.

Walking & Hiking Boots

If you’re looking to increase your activity levels, then walking can be a great form of exercise, whilst those looking to be more adventurous may take up hiking.   Both walking and hiking are good for the heart and lungs, but for those looking for a low impact activity, are ideal, as there is less risk of injury.

For short, urban walks or in easy countryside, a comfortable, good pair of shoes that don’t cause blisters is all you need.   A good fitting pair of tough shoes with an arch support and a slightly elevated (not flat) heel are ideal.  Ensuring the uppers are breathable such as leather is also a good idea to avoid sweaty feet.   Casual shoes or a good quality trainer with a heavy sole will also suffice.

Lightweight walking boots are also a good investment if you go walking regularly.   These will give your feet and ankles support and may be waterproof, the likes of which are essential if you intend walking or hiking over difficult terrain.

Basketball & Netball Shoes – Cross-Trainers

Sports shoes for court games such as netball or basketball offer both sideways support and a good combination of flexibility.  Cross-trainers, which are stiffer can provide more support when undertaking side-to-side movement and therefore these can be used for a range of activities.

 

If you’re unsure about your actual foot size:  length and width fitting, please visit us at our We Fix Feet clinics in Beeston, Ilkeston or Sheffield for a consultation.   We can measure your feet accurately using a genuine Brannock device.

Remember that footwear manufacturers provide sizing as a guide only and primarily you should choose a shoe that fits your foot size and type, rather than relying upon a specific size printed on the shoe.

Always go shoe-shopping in the afternoon, as your feet will swell slightly throughout the day and therefore will be larger later in the day than first thing in the morning.

 

References:
NHS Choices – Choosing sports shoes and trainers
Tips for buying the right sports shoes leaflet – Download
Looking after your feet when taking part in sports leaflet – Download

 

 

 

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