Preventing Pain from the Ground Up

“Do my gym shoes have to be sport specific or will any shoe do?”  -Jenny T.

With the new year comes New Year Resolutions. More often than not, these resolutions include fitness or weight loss. While a physical is surely on the top of your pre-resolution check list, does your list also include a proper pair of athletic shoes? So many times, resolutions fall by the wayside when injuries and aches and pains get in the way. The right pair of shoes is key when sticking to your resolution. Here are some tips from the American Chiropractic Association’s guide to choosing the best athletic shoe.

Tip one: match the shoe to the activity. For example, a proper running shoe has extra padding to absorb shock during the heel-strike portion of a stride while a good basketball shoe is designed to support the foot during side-to-side movements. In other words, the wrong support could predispose you to back, hip, knee, or foot pain.

Tip two: shop at a store that specializes in fitting athletic shoes. Typically, the employees are trained to find the best shoe for your activity level and foot.

Tip three: shop at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest and bring your athletic socks and/or orthotic inserts with you so that you’ll get the most accurate fit.

Tip four: have your feet measured. Make sure you’re standing in a weight bearing position and your arches are accurately assessed.

Tip five: make sure the shoe fits correctly. There should be an index-finger width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe while the heel of your foot shouldn’t slide up or down as you walk or run.

Tip six: replace your shoes before they begin to show signs of moderate wear and tear. Check the mid-soles closely as they show the earliest signs of loss of shock absorption.

Improper shoe choice and worn out shoes can really put a damper on your resolution plans. Make sure your stick to your fitness and health goals by avoiding joint pain when you choose the proper shoe. Replace those old shoes to decrease chances for shin splints, heels spurs, and plantar fasciitis. Good luck with your resolutions and Happy New Year!

Yours in health,

Dr. Kristin Nuccio Smith, DC


Source: American Chiropractic Association