Footwear should be given the same consideration as any other piece of sporting equipment.
Sports shoes should protect as much as possible, be durable, and should be right for the sport and surface. If running, the shoe should have adequate cushioning in the midsole and a flared heel for stability.
What to Look for in choosing the best shoes
Feet come in all sizes, yet although shoes differ in type and style, how many of us wear the best shoes for our feet?
The 26 bones in each foot do not fully set until we are around 18 years old, and the shoes we wear as children are vital to our future foot health. However, we can still do enormous damage to our adult feet by wearing the wrong shoes.
As a general tip badly fitting shoes can be very damaging to feet. In fact, many adults’ foot problems occur, or can be made worse, because they wear poorly fitting shoes. To help prevent damage to your feet, try to apply the following rules when you buy shoes.
Heel – this should have a broad base, and should be no greater than 4cm (11/2”)
Heel Counter – this reinforces the heel cup and stabilises the foot upon ground contact
Sole – should provide cushioning and protection for comfortable walking, and enough grip to prevent slipping
Upper – ideally made from natural materials such as leather or breathable fabrics to keep feet comfortable.
Linings – breathable materials such as leather or fabric keep the foot fresh; they need to be smooth and seam-free.
Fastenings – laces or straps with buckles or touch fastenings help to hold the foot securely within the shoe.
Toe Box – sufficient depth to prevent rubbing and allow toes to wiggle within the shoe.
Insole – preferably removable to allow easy insertion of padding or orthoses.