Participating in sports and other athletic activities is a fun way to stay fit, make friends, and keep your competitive juices flowing at any age. Whether you’re an elite athlete or participate in the occasional pick-up game, one of the best ways to prevent injury is to wear the right pair of shoes during your activity.
Ryan Golub, DPM, the board-qualified podiatrist at Arizona Foot Health in Phoenix, Arizona, recommends every athlete carefully buy athletic shoes and consider whether they also need custom orthotics for maximum support. Following this guide will help you consider what to pay attention to when you’re buying shoes for your feet.
Factors to consider when choosing athletic shoes
Picking a supportive and comfortable pair of fitness shoes and replacing them regularly keeps your feet comfortable and reduces your risk of various foot ailments and injuries. Paying attention to your needs helps you pick the right pair for your foot.
Your preferred athletic activity
You need different types of shoes to support your feet during different types of sports. Shoes are designed differently for runners, sports that involve significant jumping and twisting, and sports that require lots of kicking a ball.
Buy shoes specially designed for how you move during your favorite sport, and consider multiple pairs if you regularly do more than one kind of athletic activity.
Where you do your sport
Along with considering the sport you play, you’ll want to get shoes that work for the outdoor or indoor setting where you typically exercise. For example, if you run, consider whether you usually run on trails, pavement, the treadmill, or an indoor track when buying shoes.
The type of athletic shoe you need can depend on whether you have a neutral arch, high arch, or flat feet. As a general rule, people with high arches need athletic shoes that absorb shock well, people with flat feet need a shoe that helps with motion control, and people with neutral arches need medium stability and shock absorption.
How you move
A gait analysis determines your running and walking style and whether you need specific shoes to correct your gate. For example, people who over-pronate, which means their ankles roll inward while running, or get chronic plantar fasciitis often benefit from getting shoes with extra stability control.
Whether you need custom orthotics
Dr. Golub recommends many athletes get custom orthotics, even if you aren’t currently experiencing foot pain or injuries. Custom orthotics are inserts for your shoes that are custom-designed and made for your feet at Arizona Foot Health.
You might benefit from custom orthotics if your feet have structural irregularities, conditions that cause pain, or you’d like more support and comfort for your feet. Dr. Golub can tell you if custom orthotics are right for you at a personalized consultation.
A professional recommendation
Getting an expert opinion can help ensure you choose the best high-quality running shoes for you. Dr. Golub or a salesperson at a specialty athletic shoe store can recommend shoes for you based on evaluating your foot and watching your gate.
If you live an active life, increase your comfort and good health during your activity with the right shoes and orthotics. To schedule an appointment at Arizona Foot Health, book online, or call 602-973-3888.