Beseman.Cassie

Cassie Beseman

Column: Sports Medicine, by Cassie Beseman

I was once told that the two items you should invest in are a good mattress and good pair of shoes since those are the items you’ll use the most and will affect your body the most. There are a few things I’ve learned to look for when purchasing a new shoe to ensure that you purchase a good one. 

Some people are tempted to pick out the shoe that’s the most fashionable. Unfortunately, this is not a good way to ensure a quality purchase. The first thing to look for is support. When you pick up a tennis shoe, check to see how flexible it is. If you can bend it in half from the toes to the heel, it’s not going to support your foot very well. Also, if you can wring it out like a towel, you should consider other options with more support.

Next, make sure you get the right size. When fitting your shoe, there should be about a half an inch to three quarters of an inch between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. The width of the shoe should fit so the shoe is snug, but not too tight. The toes should be able to move around freely so they can bend, extend and separate a little.

The next thing to consider is whether the shoe will work for the unique composition of your foot. There should be a slight bend in your shoe right where your foot bends. Shoes are also built accordingly for individuals who walk on the inside of their feet (pronators) as well as those who walk on the outside of their feet (supinators). This is difficult to explain so it is best to find a good shoe store with knowledgeable staff trained to fit you with the type of shoe that’s best for your feet.

Finally, when picking out a tennis shoe, it’s best to try it on and perform your activity in it. If you will be running in your shoes, try running a lap or two around the shoe sales area to make sure your shoes still fit comfortably. If you plan on using your shoes for aerobics and jumping, do a few jumps before deciding which shoe you want to buy. It’s important that the shoe feels comfortable while you perform your activity, and it’s best to try this out before you purchase it.

If you still have a few options to choose from after taking all of these factors into consideration, it’s now OK to let fashion be the final deciding factor. This way your feet will be styling, but will also be comfortable and supportive.

Do you have a question for the Lake Region Healthcare Sports Medicine team you would like to see addressed in this space in the future?  Send your questions to SportsMed@lrhc.org and it may be featured in an upcoming article.

Cassie Beseman is a certified athletic trainer for Lake Region Healthcare Sports Medicine.

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