Choosing the right sports shoe could save your feet along with your ankles, legs and back. The right shoes will help absorb impact and keep your foot stable, so having the proper footwear can dramatically reduce the likelihood of a sports-related injury. Here are five tips for choosing the right shoes for your sport;
1. One Sport, One Shoe
If you’re going to be playing basketball, wear a basketball shoe and if you’re going to be running, wear a running shoe. A good rule of thumb is if you plan on doing an activity once a week or more, you should invest in sport-specific shoes.
It may not by obvious, but there’s a big difference between the shoe classes. A running shoe is designed to provide lots of cushioning to absorb the shock of pounding concrete and its very flexible, but it doesn’t have a lot of side-to-side support. A court shoe will give you that side support. Why? Because when you’re on the court, you’re doing more side stepping and a wider range of motion, so you need that support.
2. Fit your foot
Make sure you get a good fit. If you need a wider size, get a wider size. And remember, your feet don’t stop growing, so even adults need to measure their feet as they get older. Wearing the wrong size is the worst possible thing you could do to your feet. Most shoe stores are more than happy to size you up and fit you to the right shoe.
3. Take the shoes for a test run
When you’re trying on the shoes, try to replicate how you’ll be using them. If you’re going to be running in the shoe, go for a run around the store. If you’re going to be playing tennis, try doing a few side steps and swings.
Another way to get a truer fit is to wear sport socks and to try shoes on closer to the end of the day. As your feet get hot and worked, they will swell. You want shoes that will fit all day long.
4. Break-ins are illegal
You should never have to break a shoe in. If it’s not comfortable, then it’s not the shoe for you. Keep looking until you find the right shoe.
5. Know when to say good-bye
Knowing when to replace your shoe is almost as crucial as knowing which shoe to buy in the first place. Shoes can take a lot of abuse, whether it’s on the court, concrete or aerobics floor and all that shock and impact will wear down insoles and support systems. A good rule of thumb is to replace shoes every three to four hundred miles of use, or once the back of the soles are worn out.