As a general rule, if you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends that you wear a sport-specific shoe. Not only can sport-specific shoes affect the way you play and perform, they can also protect your feet from injury. In addition, never use someone else’s shoes or equipment — ill-fitted shoes increase your risk of injury.

Do you play basketball, tennis or volleyball?
These sports have one thing in common. They are all played on a hard-surface court. Common foot injuries for these sports include sprains, stress fractures and tendinitis. Appropriate sport-specific footwear should have thick, stiff soles for impact support. A light weight shoe is also helpful for sudden stops and changes in direction. For basketball, a high ankle construction offers additional ankle support.

Do you play soccer?
Common foot injuries from soccer include ankle sprains, turf toe and ingrown toenails. Appropriate sport-specific footwear should have a good-quality footbed for proper arch support. Choose the stud type that matches the ground/turf you’ll play on most often. And, consider molded rubber cleats than the screw-on options.

Do you play football or lacrosse?
Common foot injuries from football and lacrosse include turf toe, Achilles tendinitis and ankle sprains. Appropriate sport-specific footwear should offer high ankle support and proper traction on grassy fields.

Do you play baseball or softball?
Common foot injuries from baseball and softball include sprains, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and tendinitis. Appropriate sport-specific footwear should offer arch support and additional support for the front toes. For younger athletes, avoid cleats that feature metal spikes for additional safety.

Do you run or participate in track and field?
Common foot injuries from running include plantar fasciitis, shin splints and stress fractures. Appropriate sport-specific footwear should provide ample shock absorption and should be specifically designed for high-impact forward movement. Good running shoes also enable you to match your foot’s specific arch type (high, medium, low). Also, due to wear and tear, replace running shoes after 600 miles of running, or every 6 months.

Not sure if your sport-specific shoes are the right fit?
Schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist or podiatrist at The Steward Center for Sports Medicine and Community Health.

Do you suffer from foot pain caused by sports or physical activity?
Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist at The Steward Center for Sports Medicine and Community Health.