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Moving Toward Better Health

The official blog of Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic


Select Proper Athletic Shoes

Posted by Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Thomas Konicki earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati and then went on to the Los Ange...
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in Self-Care/Prevention

Proper athletic shoes are crucial in keeping your joints healthy when you exercise. Just because it is a name-brand shoe, it still may not be a good fit for your foot.

There is not one brand that is better than the rest. You need to find the shoe that feels the most comfortable.

There are different types of foot shapes - normal, flat feet/pronation (foot rolls inward), high arch and supination (foot rolls outward). There are different shoes for each type of foot.

For normal feet, stability shoes with a slightly curved edge are usually recommended. You will have a wide array of choices of shoes.

If you have flat feet or over-pronate, you want motion control shoes with firm mid soles. Usually, the inner heel portion is reinforced on these shoes to prevent your foot rolling inward.

If you have high arches, you want a more flexible, cushioned shoe. Don't buy motion-control or stability shoes, which reduce foot mobility. You may require an additional arch support, such as a generic orthotic.

Match your shoe to your activity. Running shoes are made to absorb shock when your heel hits the ground. These have cushion and control built into them.

Tennis shoes provide more side-to-side stability and for quick stops and starts. I can tell you personally that running shoes don't work well for tennis.

Walking shoes allow your foot to roll and push off naturally during walking. They have a fairly rigid arch, well-cushioned sole and stiff heel support for stability.

I recommend going to the specialty stores for each type of shoe. It is worth the extra money that you will spend to get a proper shoe with a proper fit.

Shop late in the day or after a workout, when your feet are the largest. Wear the type of socks you want to wear during exercise. If you already wear orthotics, be sure and use them in the shoe.

Your foot size increases as you age, elongating and flattening. Have your feet measured when standing, checking both feet. Choose your shoe by its fit, not by past sizes.

The shoe should fit with an index finger's width between the end of the tip of the shoe and your longest toe. The toe box should not feel tight. Your heel should fit snugly in the back of the shoe without sliding up/down as you walk or run.

Run in the shoes at the store if these are for running or tennis. The shoe may act completely different when running rather than walking or standing still.

Date your shoes when you begin using them. This will help guide you as to when they need updating. For example, running shoes last 400-500 miles.

Eventually, the shock absorption materials in your shoe starts to break down, even if you have not worn them out. If you start to see cracks or fissures in the rubber products, you have now lost the shock ability of the shoe.

Worn shoes can cause injuries like shin splints, heel spurs, plantar fascitis and Achilles' tendonitis. Even with a good shoe, an orthotic/arch support may be necessary.

Enjoy your new shoes. Now get going!

Information from American Chiropractic Association

Copyright © 2008 - Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic. All rights reserved.

Dr. Tom Konicki, a board certified chiropractic orthopedist, has practiced for many years in South Dayton with his wife Dr. Bethany Schumacher. Contact him at www.kschiro.com or 937-439-5400. Mail questions to Ask the Chiropractor, 2165 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd., Dayton, Ohio 45459

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