Athletic Shoe Selection

1. When selecting shoes, an athlete must be aware of several factors:

Purpose of shoe (sport/event).

B. Where shoe is used (surface/indoor/outdoor).
C. Foot, ankle or leg conditions and past problems.
D. General shoe construction.

2. Type of Shoes

A. Cross training shoes — For people who exercise a little in different areas — do not replace specialty shoes.

B. Running shoes — Provide heel and midfoot shock absorption and stability for straight ahead activities, i.e. walking or running.

C. Court shoes — Basketball, tennis, racquetball, etc. Provide shock absorption for jumping and cutting movements. They are made for different surfaces, i.e. artificial turf vs. grass.

D. Special cleat/spike patterns — Provide support and traction on different surfaces for football, soccer, golf and various track/field events.

Using a shoe for an activity it was not designed for increases the chance of injury. Using running shoes for court sports increases the risk of ankle sprains because running shoes offer little lateral support for cutting. Distance running in court shoes may lead to inflammatory and overuse conditions of the foot, ankle, leg and knee due to less heel and mid sole cushioning, a lower heel, and less heel control than running shoes. Shoes with cleats (which are designed to hold the foot fixed to a surface) may aggravate pre-existing knee problems.

Consider past or present lower extremity problems when selecting a shoe. Shoes with greater cushioning and stability are available for heavier people. Some shoes provide more foot control and support than others. Shoes with deeper uppers and removable foot beds are made for persons wearing orthotics.

Request an appointment with the professionals at South Carolina Sports Medicine if you’re experiencing pain or are dealing with an injury. Call our facility at (843) 572-2663 for more information about our services.
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Trident Professional Park
9100 Medcom Street
N. Charleston, SC 29406-9167
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