Whether you’re running, golfing, or playing a more contact sport such as, soccer or basketball, you’ll need to make sure your feet are protected with the right shoes. Wearing shoes that are too tight or worn out can cause shin splints, bunions or blisters, which can lead to more serious foot issues like neuropathy, which is the painful feeling of pins and needles in your foot, or crossover toe, which can form when toes are cramped together in a small space and the constant pressure causes one toe to cross over the other. Just like clothing, you want your feet to feel comfortable in your most high impact workout or leisurely stroll on a walk. Here are things to consider when picking out the right athletic footwear.

Shoes are Not Versatile

To have a versatile shoe is to hurt one’s feet. For example, don’t use walking shoes to run in because they don’t allow for flexibility while running and vice versa. They are stiffer in order to keep your feet in place while you walk. Baseball cleats are designed for playing baseball as court shoes are designed for stop and go movement while playing basketball or tennis. If you participate in several activities, it’s a good idea to have a pair for each.

Unique Feet

Your feet are unique to you, so it is good to make sure you know your feet before trying on shoes. Make sure you know your shoe size and a good way to figure out the shape of your foot is either look at the wear on your most worn pair of shoes or do the “wet test.” With the “wet test”, you step on a piece of brown paper bag while your foot is wet and then trace the shape. With either of the tests, if you notice that the whole sole of your foot is revealed with hardly any curve, then it means you have flat feet with low arches. The opposite would show only a portion of your heel and forefoot with a small connection between the two, thus indicating higher arches.

Breaking-in Shoes

When trying on shoes, shop toward the end of the day when your feet are swollen. This way the shoes fit when your feet are at their largest. If you feel pain, this doesn’t mean that breaking-in the shoes will help. Look for a different pair as shoes should feel comfortable. Though, don’t go on a long run with brand new shoes as this can cause blisters and sores. Wear them around the house for a couple days to let your feet adjust and go on short runs. This can be said for your baseball cleats or court shoes.

If you have the right shoes, but are still experiencing pain, it could be an underlying condition. Contact us so that we can get you, and your feet, back to enjoying the activities you love.