Choose the right shoe to fit your sport

Selecting the correct shoes for different sports is important to prevent injuries. Photo: Supplied

POLOKWANE – With the warmer months more and more people are taking to running to exercise and keep fit.

Choosing the correct footwear is important as it will not only help to make your running experience a pleasant one, it will also ensure your feet and joints do not have unnecessary strain put on them.

Review spoke to local podiatrist, Jani Erasmus, about choosing the right type of shoe.

“Firstly, determine the type of sport you want to take up. If it is running specifically, buy a running shoe. I would suggest to start off with a medium-priced shoe, the top of the range shoe is not necessary as your mileage won’t be as high as a marathon runner,” says Jani.

“Running shoes are either neutral running shoes, motion control or stability running shoes. Unless otherwise advised by a qualified practitioner, I would suggest starting off with a neutral shoe.”

She says once you have advanced to a greater mileage, you can have your feet measured and assessed to determine if you need a motion control shoe.

Photo: Pixabay

Jani highlighted some key factors to look out for in a good first-time running shoe

• Look for something light, especially when starting out, so it doesn’t add to the effort required when running.

• Make sure it fits correctly – a thumb’s width should be able to fit in behind your heel and in front of your big toe.

• Make sure the shoe is deep enough and it doesn’t feel like your heel is lifting out of the shoe when you run.

“Good first-time running shoes include Nike Lunarglide, New Balance Fresh Foam, ASICS Venture. I do not favour any specific brand as all companies offer good first-time running shoes as long as they have good weight, cushioning, vibration attenuation and shock absorption.

“If you are taking up a different sport to running, make sure you get the specific shoe designed for that sport but follow the same guidelines as mentioned above when it comes to choosing the correct shoe in that range,” she advises.

Injuries occur much more frequently when you wear a shoe not designed for that specific sport. Photo: Jacqueline Windh

She pointed out some consequences of not wearing the correct shoe

• Discomfort – the incorrect shoe will immediately feel uncomfortable which will quickly discourage you and cause you to stop your newly energised plan to take up a specific sport.

• Overuse injuries – the incorrect shoes predispose you to develop an overuse injury as it can increase the strain on your muscles, tendons and ligaments. You will also fatigue quicker which can also cause discouragement.

• Corns, calluses, blisters – this is a common issue with the incorrect shoes in sport as it causes abnormal pressure on certain structures or unnecessary friction leading to blister formation. This is commonly seen when footwear is too narrow or too tight.

• Injuries – injuries occur much more frequent when you wear a shoe not designed for that specific sport. The design plays a big role in the shock absorption the sport requires and it is essential to buy the correct shoe for your specific sport.

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Roelof de Jonge

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