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Shoes Are Essential for Athletic Performance

By Staff Reporter
on Jun 05, 2019 05:55 PM EDT
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Whether you're a seasoned marathon runner or an occasional gym-goer, you will want the right footwear to support you through your workouts. Picking the wrong style or size will hinder your athletic performance. More importantly, the wrong choice can hurt you.

Pain Is A Bad Sign

One way to tell that you're wearing the wrong pair of athletic shoes is that you have arch pain during exercise or long after you've finished your workout. Frequent pain means you could have a medical condition called Plantar fasciitis, which is from the inflammation or injury of the ligament that moves along the arch, connecting the front of the foot with its heel.

If you run outdoors, you need athletic shoes that can absorb the shock of your foot hitting the hard pavement. If you lift weights at the gym, you need your shoes to help bear the heavy weight and distribute it evenly across the foot.

Get More Support

You can say goodbye to your foot pain by going to a foot clinic to get fitted for custom orthotics for your athletic shoes. These will be much more effective than store-bought inserts because they will be perfectly molded to fit the shape of your feet and the height of your arches. Getting orthotics will relieve pain and discomfort caused by injuries from your previous shoes, and it will make sure that the injuries don't return.  

A foot clinic will offer orthopaedic shoes specifically for fitness activities like running, jogging, walking and cross training. These will not be molded to your foot shape, but they will be designed for superior support, cushioning and shock absorption.

Get The Right Size

A pair of supportive shoes can do wonders, as long as they're the right size. Shoes that are too big or too small will quickly become a painful problem during your workouts.

Too-small shoes can lead to bruised toes or blackened nails after your toes push up against the end of the toe box over and over. The abuse can even make you lose your big toenail. Your toes should always have a little bit of space to wiggle freely.

Here are some other obvious signs that you're wearing the wrong shoes and that you need to change up the size:

  • Bunions

  • Corns

  • Calf strain

  • Hammertoes

  • Knee pain

  • Foot pain

Put on your running shoes to test out if they're a comfortable fit. Press your thumb into the toe box to check if your toes have enough room. Walk to see if the shoes slip around your heels or if they dig into the top of your feet. Look at the laces. The shoes are too big if you can take them off without loosening the laces, and too tight if you need to unlace every row.

Always get your feet measured when purchasing a pair of shoes. Your feet can change in size because of weight changes, medical conditions and aging. It's better to take the time to investigate their size than regret making the wrong choice while you're on the treadmill.

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