If you are active and engage in sports, you need to wear shoes that are specific to that particular activity. Choosing the right type of footwear for sports can make a significant impact on your game while providing support and comfort for your feet. The right shoes can also help prevent many types of foot or ankle injuries.
Different Types of Sports Shoes
Sports shoes come in a wide variety of options depending on the specific sport you plan on wearing them for. Some shoes are designed to keep your ankles stable while playing a sport such as basketball, while others are designed to help you grip specific types of surfaces such as grass or rocky terrain.
Some different types of sports shoes include:
- Tennis shoes
- Running shoes
- Track shoes
- Hiking boots
- Soccer, football, or baseball cleats
- Cycling shoes
Tips to Consider
When shopping for footwear, consider the sport that it will be used for. Depending on the sport, footwear is designed to match the particular activity and foot function. Some tips to consider when shopping for shoes for sports include:
- Have your feet professionally measured. The right size shoe is important when playing sports. Measuring your feet can give you accurate sizing for foot length and width. A shoe that is too big can cause your foot to slide and not stay in the proper position—putting you at risk for sprains. A shoe that is too tight can cramp the front part of your foot and cause problems with your toes. Shoes that do not fit properly can also cause blisters and pain.
- Shop later in the day. Since your feet can swell throughout the day, you will want to try on shoes later in the day when feet are at their largest. This can help ensure that the shoes you purchase will not be too small.
- Wear socks. Socks can affect how your shoes fit so you will want to wear the type of socks that you will use for that specific sport when trying on shoes. Some athletic socks are thicker than others so they can change the way the shoe fits and feels. Your shoes should feel comfortable and fit properly when worn with your athletic socks.
- Walk around. You can walk around the store in the shoes you are considering. Do not purchase shoes that require breaking in. Sports shoes should feel good on your feet and not cause pain, discomfort, or cramping.
- Add an orthotic. For added arch support, consider using a custom orthotic in your sports shoes. An orthotic is used inside the shoe and can be customized to your foot for a perfect fit.
- Consider the terrain. When choosing a pair of shoes, consider where they will be worn. If you plan on hiking on rough, rocky terrain, you will need footwear with a rigid sole and ankle support such as a hiking boot. If you are walking on a paved trail, you would need a shoe that is more flexible and lightweight. You will also require a different type of shoe for running on a track than for running on outdoor trails. If you play a sport such as football, soccer, or baseball, a cleat would be needed to provide traction on fields that are wet or slippery.
Consult With a Podiatrist
If you have questions about what type of shoes to pick for your specific sport, consult with a podiatrist at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry who can help recommend the right shoes for your particular needs. We offer a free initial consultation and can help you choose the right type of sports shoes to keep your feet healthy and pain-free. To schedule an appointment, fill out our contact form online or call our office at 301-515-FEET.