When many think about having the right athletic shoe, they think about whether it fits, whether it matches their wardrobe, or is appropriate for an occasion, but having the right shoe, especially the right athletic takes more consideration.
Sports and high impact activities like running, jumping, or even walking for long distances requires the right kind of shoe. Today, there is an array of athletic shoes designed with specific purposes in mind, such as shoes made for runners, for walkers, for low impact and high impact activities and more. All this variety can be overwhelming as you wonder which shoe is best for you.
General practitioners rarely talk about the necessity of having the right shoe, but orthopedics and podiatrists have long been in the business of educating their patients of this necessity. Having the right shoe can mean less pain in your feet, ankles, legs, and even back.
Here are 8 tips for picking out the right athletic shoe.
- When possible, shop at a store that caters to the sport in which you participate. If you are a runner, go to a running store; if you are a tennis player, purchase your shoes at a tennis shop. If this is not possible, do some research before shopping to find out what type of shoe is most appropriate for your favorite sport.There are some great local places that will measure your feet and ask you specific questions so you can buy the best shoe for you. These stories include Good Feet, Fleet Feet, and Fletcher’s Shoes.
- Trying on shoes at the right time is also extremely important. After a day of activity, your feet tend to swell. Because of this, experts recommend trying on shoes in the evening so that you can have the best fitting shoe at all times. Further, you should make sure to try on both right and left shoes as most people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other.
- To this end, to find the right shoe size, you should also wear the type of sock that you normally wear on a day to day basis.
- Part of ensuring the right fit is making sure that the shoe hugs your foot properly. This means that it isn’t too tight or too loose and the heel doesn’t constantly slide off the back of your foot.
- When looking at length, there should be around a ½ inch between the tip of your longest toe and the inside of your shoe so there is plenty of room for your foot to shift
- There should also be plenty of room in the front of your shoe, so that you can wiggle your toes around. Your toes and foot should never feel like it is cramped in the shoe.
- When trying on shoes, you should also walk around the store on different surfaces (carpet and tile, for example) to ensure that they are comfortable everywhere. Perhaps the most important of surfaces to try is concrete, especially if you work in a warehouse or other environment where you walk on it significantly. Concrete doesn’t absorb the shock of walking as much as other materials, meaning more stress on your feet and ankles.
- Finally, you should always tighten the laces of the shoes that you are trying on so that your feet are secure in the shoe. A fully laced shoe can feel very different from something that you only half tried on. While there are many ways to lace a shoe to be more comfortable, if you don’t fully lace them, you won’t know their true feeling until you wear them later.
If you’ve been wearing the wrong athletic shoe or are in the market for new ones, make sure to keep these tips in mind.
This article is brought to you by Dr. Brandon Downs. Dr. Downs can help you understand your elbow pain. Find Dr.Downs at:
Hughston Clinic Orthopaedics, Centennial Medical Center in the Physician’s Park Building 2400 Patterson Street Suite 300, Nashville, Tn 37203 (615) 342-6300 Hughston.com and Orthopaedic Specialists, 415 Henslee Drive in the Creekside Center, Dickson, Tn 37055 (615) 375-8287, Orthopaedicspecialists.com.