The right shoe can be the key to success in athletic performance. Whether you’re taking strides toward that gold medal, or stepping into a role as a new parent, your shoe matters. Athletic shoes that fit properly not only enhance performance, but they also help to prevent injury.
Find the Athletic Shoe for You
- Shop your sport/activity
Runners should look for shoes at running stores. Hikers can find the right shoe at hiking and outdoor activity stores. These stores are staffed with experts who are able to help you find the right sizing and fit for your activity.
An athletic shoe must be breathable, especially for runners. When purchasing a new shoe, look for a lighter material that won’t make your foot too sweaty or weigh you down.
- Size & Fit
If a shoe fits well, there will be half an inch of space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe. There’s enough room if you can wiggle your toes. When trying on shoes, make sure to come prepared with your athletic socks and any orthotics, inserts, or any other variable you add to your shoe. Nearly 70% if the population has one foot that is larger than the other. While typically it isn’t a drastic size difference, it should influence what size shoe you buy. Base your size on the larger foot. If the smaller foot has too much room in the shoe, you can always modify with an insert or arch support.
- Stabilize the heel
Dr. Beck says, “A supportive shoe starts with the heel. If the heel is stable, it can properly help to control the rest of your foot”. The “bend test” can help determine if the shoe has adequate support. Look for a shoe that bends in the toes and not in the middle.
- Replace & Modify often
Just like sporting equipment sees wear and tear and has to be replaced often, so do your athletic shoes. Runners should replace their shoes every 400-500 miles (typically three to four months). If the shoe is showing signs of wear, it’s probably time to replace them. If you deal with foot pain or injuries, Dr. Beck recommends a good quality insert can add extra support and comfort. It can also reduce your risk of foot and ankle injuries.
Need more support for foot and ankle pain?
The right shoe can be very helpful in preventing foot & ankle pain, but it’s less likely to reverse existing pain. And the wrong shoe can cause a whole list of pain and injuries. You do not have to live with foot and ankle pain.
CMC specialists can treat the majority of foot and ankle conditions successfully without surgery. If surgery is necessary, our team of orthopedic surgeons is there for you. “It’s so rewarding for me to see my patients walking and moving and doing the activities they love with very little to no pain,” says Dr. Beck. “This can be such a successful surgery and I’m there with you every step of the way.”
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