Why Wearing The Right Shoes For Your Sport/Activity Is Important

With so many shoes on the market today being advertised as the ‘perfect all round shoe’, it’s very easy to assume that you can use these for all of your activities. For those who participate in casual sport or physical activity, it can be daunting trying to decide which shoe is right for you. However, when playing sport, whether it is recreational or at a competitive level, it is very important to have a pair of shoes that will do the job. As podiatrists, we often have patients attend the clinic with an injury that may have been prevented if they had been wearing appropriate shoes! 


Are sports specific shoes really that different to normal runners?

Sports specific shoes are designed with the specific movements and requirements of their sport in mind. These days, there has been a lot of research done to try to minimise the rate of injury at all levels and this is why we highly recommend wearing the correct shoes. 


Some of the most common sports specific shoes that we recommend to our patients include:

Football/soccer shoes – Football and soccer shoes require studs to help with traction and avoid slipping on the grass surfaces. The stitching on these shoes is also strategically placed to ensure that you are able to kick the football/soccer ball properly. 

Futsal shoes – Futsal is played on a synthetic turf and therefore requires a different shoe to traditional soccer shoes. They have a flat sole and also have stitching to ensure you are able to kick the ball properly. 

Netball shoes – Given the high impact and ‘stop/start’ nature of netball, netball shoes are some of the most supportive shoes on the market. They have a very stiff sole and tread underneath to limit slipping on the court surface. They also have lateral support to help to protect the ankle and a ‘pivot point’ underneath the big toe to reduce wear through that part of the shoe. 

Basketball – Basketball shoes are traditionally a high top design that provides a lot of support the the ankle. Similar to netball shoes, they also have a stiff sole to help with the stop/start motions as well as provide traction on the court to prevent slipping. 

Tennis shoes – Tennis shoes are made to withstand the high forces associated with lateral movements – that is, moving side to side a lot. Whilst they do have some traction on the sole, they do allow for some slipping so you can reach for those wide shots. 

Running shoes – This is a very broad range of shoes and it is important that you are wearing the right shoes for you! With the market being so saturated with different types of running shoes, it can be very overwhelming trying to pick the right shoes for you. Every runner will have slightly different needs when it comes to the perfect running shoes for them and there is definitely no option that works best for everyone! Seeing your podiatrist for recommendations on the best footwear for your type is crucial regardless of how often and how far you run. 


What can happen if I wear the wrong shoes?

Wearing the wrong shoes can significantly increase the risk of injury. By not having the support required for the sport, you are more susceptible to injuries such as (but not limited to) ankle sprains, turf toe injuries, blisters, bruised and ingrown toenails and plantar fasciitis. Even if you are only playing the sport recreationally once a week, you are still susceptible to injury. Some people wonder whether it is really worth it to spend the money on another pair of shoes when in reality, if you sustain an injury you may be paying a lot more seeking treatment and rehabilitation!


If you’d like some advice on the best shoes for you, please don’t hesitate to book in to see one of our podiatrists!

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