When buying equipment for your sports kit, you probably think of football helmets, hockey sticks, tennis racquets, jerseys, etc. While these are essential sports equipment, one key equipment many players (especially beginners or amateurs) miss out on considering is their sports shoes. Whether you run short distances in your neighbouring blocks, jog on walking trails, or weight lift in your gym, you need proper footwear. If you don’t have the right footwear, it not only affects your performance but also exposes you to the risk of injuries.
The shoes you wear can make a lot of difference for your feet and ankles in many ways. There are various types of athletic shoes available in the market today that are specifically designed for a sport. Since each sport involves unique movements, your feet move differently during the game. Thus, buying dedicated sports shoes made for the game is crucial for optimal performance and preventing injuries.
Importance of Knowing Your Foot Type
Do you think if some sports shoes work for a few of your team members, they will work well for you as well? Or if a brand or style is in trend, you should buy those athletic shoes. Well, the answer is no! When buying sports shoes, you need to consider a lot of factors. And it is not as simple as just knowing your shoe size or looking for a comfortable material. You need to consider factors such as what sport you play, the ground you play on, your foot type, etc. before you purchase sports shoes.
The shape of your foot determines your movements. So, if you really want to ace your game, you need to know the arch type and whether you pronate or supinate while running or walking. Not having an understanding of these biomechanics may lead you to buy the wrong sports shoes. Playing in improper footwear can lead to foot aches, swelling, chafing, injuries, or some severe foot conditions.
What Sports Shoes Do You Need for Your Foot Type?
Before you can decide on what type of sports shoes you need, it is important to identify your foot type. Now, there are different ways to describe feet type. Some talk in terms of how wide or narrow the feet are, some talk about the shape and positions, and some categorise them in other ways. We will consider the arch type and pronation type to help you identify your feet type.
As you move throughout the day, your foot arch provides a lot of support to your body. If you have a very high or flat arch, it can cause extra stress on your muscles and joints. This is true, especially if you play high-impact or endurance sports or stand for longer periods. If your arch is not high enough or too high, you will need to overuse some parts of your foot, and that may cause injuries. Arches are basically of three types:
- Neutral (or medium)
Pronation type refers to lateral movements your foot carries out when you walk or run. There are three pronation types:
- Underpronation (or supination)
Pronation means an inward roll, while supination means an outward roll. When you step forward, your ankle dips towards the inside arch as your heel touches the ground. It is normal to have some amount of pronation. As you take a step forward, your foot slightly rolls inward and downward to absorb the shock. Some amount of supination is also normal. While walking forward, your foot rolls toward its outside edge to distribute the push-off pressure to your toes.
The best way to identify your foot type is to wet your feet and step on construction paper or cardboard. Based on the imprint of your feet, you can identify if you have normal feet, flat feet, or a high arch.
Sports Shoes for Different Foot Type
Now that you know your foot type, let us discuss what types of sports shoes will be right for you.
Normal Foot Type
If you are a normal foot type, you have a fairly normal stride. Your sports shoes should be sturdy enough to keep your feet stable. They should also not be too flexible, as that can lead to a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot. Your footwear should cushion the heel bone and counteract pronation.
Flat Foot Type
Your feet pronate a lot if you have flat feet. You should wear light weight sports shoes with motion control that are sturdy and stable. Buy shoes that come with built-in arch support so that they don’t bend in the arch.
High Arch Foot Type
People with high arch feet experience excessive supination and thus need cushioning for shock absorption. Go for sports shoes with a snug fit, ample cushioning, high-laced top and prevent your ankle from rolling.
If you have been buying sports shoes just because of how stylish they are or what sports you play, it is time to reconsider some factors. Based on your foot type, your body movements differ during the game from that of another player. Wearing the wrong shoes that do not support these movements can hinder your performance and lead to injuries. So, know your foot type before you make your next purchase.