Athletic Footwear Guidelines

The type of athletic shoe you wear depends on the movements involved in the sport or activity you will be doing. Wearing the proper athletic shoe provides the support, shock absorption, traction, and protection necessary to keep the foot working properly and free from injury and stress.

Running

  • Common foot injuries: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, stress fractures, Morton’s neuroma.
  • The appropriate footwear should:
    • Be light, flexible, and built to absorb impact;
    • Match your foot’s arch type (high, medium, low). A podiatric physician can measure your feet and let you know what type to look for.
    • Be replaced after 600–800 miles of running or walking, or every 6–8 months.

Basketball, Tennis, and Volleyball

  • Common foot injuries: sprains, stress fractures, tendinitis
  • The appropriate footwear should:
    • Have a thick, stiff sole that provides support for impact.
    • Have high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction. ( For Basketball)
    • Be lighter, have less midsole support, and contain a sole more responsive to quick starts and stops (For Volleyball).

Soccer

  • Common foot injuries: ankle sprains, turf toe, ingrown toenails, Sever’s disease
  • The appropriate footwear should:
    • Have a good-quality footbed, which can help provide proper support for the arch and user’s foot type.
    • Feature the stud type for the ground that will be played on most often: soft, hard, firm, or turf.
    • Use molded rubber cleats rather than the screw-on variety.

Football and Lacrosse

  • Common foot injuries: turf toe, Achilles tendinitis, ankle sprains
  • The appropriate footwear should:
    • Have a good amount of high ankle support. This support is especially important for linemen and other players who make frequent lateral movements during play.
    • Allow for proper traction on a grassy field, in both wet and dry conditions.
    • Never be hand-me-downs; ill-fitting cleats increase the risk of ankle injuries.

Baseball and Softball

  • Common foot injuries: sprains, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis
  • The appropriate footwear should:
    • Offer support to prevent arch pain, which frequently affects catchers. Customized shoe inserts called orthoses may help alleviate the pain.
    • Not include metal baseball spikes for athletes younger than 13.
    • Try multi-cleats for children ages 11–15 to avoid heel pain.

 

Cross-training sneakers are appropriate for general athletic activities, such as gym workouts with weights and exercise equipment. If you or your child participates in multiple sports or activities, be sure to have an appropriate shoe specifically designed for each activity.

Athletic shoes should have a comfortable fit to minimize friction, which can lead to blisters and irritation. Depending on the sport, the height of the upper (low-cut, three-quarter-top, or high-top design), the laces, and construction of the sole may vary. Properly constructed athletic shoes have a sturdy construction, leather or canvas uppers, a flexible sole at the forefoot, adequate cushioning, and arch supports.

It is important to remember to regularly replace worn athletic footwear to avoid wear and tear on the feet due to worn soles, weakened heel counters, and evident creasing. Walking or running shoes should last for about 600 miles. Sneakers for basketball, tennis, and aerobic exercise should be replaced about every 50 hours of wear. If you are experiencing any pain from your shoes call now to schedule an appointment or request your appointment TODAY!

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