Athletic Shoe Fitting
Wearing the appropriate athletic shoe for specific sports activities can improve comfort and performance, and most importantly, prevent injuries. Athletic shoe fitting is important before engaging is sports-related activities. Sports can place tremendous pressure on the feet, ankles, and legs. Running and jumping, for example, generate an impact force through the legs that is three-to-five times a person’s body weight.
Today’s athletic shoes are designed with specific activities in mind. If you participate in a single sport more than two times a week, you should purchase a shoe specifically designed for that sport — a running shoe, court shoe, cleats, or hiking shoe. If you are active in many different forms of exercise each week, a cross training shoe may be the best choice.
Tips for Finding a Right Athletic Shoe
When possible, shop at a store that caters to the sport in which you participate. If you are a runner, go to a running store; if you are a tennis player, purchase your shoes at a tennis shop. If this is not possible, do some research before shopping to find out what type of shoe is most appropriate for your favorite sport.
Because your feet swell throughout the day, try on shoes at the end of the day or after a workout.
To ensure a proper fit, wear the same type of sock that you typically wear when you are participating in the sport for which you are buying the shoes.
Make sure the heel counter — the back of the shoe that holds the heel in place — adequately grips your heel to ensure stability.
There should be at least a 1/2 inch space between your longest toe and the tip of your shoes.
The toe box — the front area of the shoe — should have ample room so that you can wiggle your toes. Your toes should never feel cramped in an athletic shoe.
When you try on shoes, walk around the store on different surfaces (carpet and tile, for example) to ensure that they are comfortable.
Always tighten the laces of the shoes that you are trying on so that your feet are secure in the shoe. There are many different types of lacing patterns that can be applied to the shoe to adapt for, or minimize, foot pain or structural anomalies.
Try on both the right and the left shoes to make sure that they fit. Also, inspect the shoes on a level surface to ensure that they are straight, even, and without defects.
Make sure that the shoes have not been sitting on the shelf for an extended period of time. While the materials of an athletic shoe are designed to accommodate a lot of stress, the cushioning may become less effective over time, even without use.
Types of Athletic Shoes
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