Selecting the right shoe also means picking the right kind of shoe.
A good pair of running shoes is an important piece of equipment for any athlete. Shoes that are chosen specifically for foot type and fitted properly can help keep athletes healthy and possibly prevent injuries.
FOOT TYPES AND SHOE QUALITIES
• Low arched feet or flat feet are those that do not have much of a gap between the floor and the arch of the foot when standing. This foot type is very flexible and needs a shoe that can control its motion. Look for a shoe that has a rigid heel counter and more durable foam in the middle 1/3 of the midsole (often there is a change in foam color or texture in these types of shoes).
• High arched feet are those that have a large gap between the floor and the arch of the foot. This foot type tends to be rigid and needs a shoe that can absorb the shock of running. Look for a shoe that is flexible and has a thick and cushioned midsole.
• Neutral feet are those that have an arch height between high and low. This foot type can accommodate most shoe types.
LOOK FOR THESE IN A GOOD PAIR OF SHOES
• a shock-absorbing sole
• a supportive arch
• firm heel support
• a reasonably flexible forefoot (the part of the shoe surrounding the arch, ball of the foot and toes).
REMEMBER, PROPER FIT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. YOU CAN HAVE THE BEST SHOE BUT IF IT DOESN’T FIT RIGHT, IT DOESN’T DO ITS JOB RIGHT.
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT
• Take your child shoe shoppingwith you so he/she can try on the shoes. Just as with your shoes, if they don’t fit, they won’t work.
• Shop at the end of the day, when your child’s feet are at their largest (either at the end of the day, or after a run or sporting event).
• Ignore brand, color, popularity. Instead buy what feels right on the feet.
• Check for snug heels: The heel should be stable and should not move in and out of the heel counter. If the heels don’t fit snuggly, they will pull up out of the shoe (pistoning) and your child will be more likely to get blisters.
• Flexible forefeet: The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot where the toes bend. If the shoe bends farther forward or behind where the toes bend (in the arch area), this means the shoe is too big or small (which could result in unneeded stress occurring elsewhere on the foot).
• Allow for wiggle room: There should be a half-inch from the end of the longest toe to the end of the shoe so that your child is able to wiggle all of her toes. Don’t press with your thumb on the greater toe to estimate fit because it activates a reflex that causes your child to curl the bigger toe, giving the wrong impression that there is enough space.
• Have your child walk in the shoes: Allow your child some time to walk around the store in the shoes and stay in them for at least 10-15 minutes. When she takes them off, check her feet for any red spots or areas of irritation. Inspect the inside of the shoe for any extra material, glue or irregular stitching, which may cause chafing.
• Expect immediate comfort: Most importantly, the new shoes should be comfortable right away. They should be securely snug, but not restrictive. The foot should not slide back and forth inside the shoe when stopping or starting. And shoes shouldn’t need to be “broken in” to feel right.
• Comfortable midsole:Look for real running midsole, that is not too hard or stiff which will make running uncomfortable.
• Sock up:Your child should be wearing the socks that he will ultimately wear with the shoes.
• Don’t go for the “too much” shoes. Kids are generally fairly sturdier than we imagine—less injury prone than adults. An overly supportive running shoe (too much cushioning, too much shock absorption) may weaken a developing bio-mechanical system.
WHY IS FINDING THE RIGHT SHOE SO IMPORTANT
Ill fitting shoes can cause a number of problems, like Blisters,Curling or clawing of the toes, Bunions, Corns, Calluses, Pinched nerves, Ingrown toenails.
Besides causing pain and discomfort that can affect athletic performance, the wrong size shoes can result in foot problems and cause further injuries down the road.