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Sports Health

SPORTS SHOES - a patient's guide


Sports shoes need to be tailored to the type of sport you are involved in and your own walking style. This article provides advice on buying good footwear.


  • Appropriate footwear is essential for sports activities
  • Poor footwear can cause foot pain, shin pain, Achilles problems and knee pain
  • Sports shoes should have strength, cushion and stability in places according to the type of sport you are involved in.
  • Shoes can also be tailored to an individual's walking style
  • Buy shoes from shops where staff have a sound knowledge of sports shoes

The importance of good footwear:

Poor sports shoes can damage your feet during exercise. Inappropriate shoes can cause foot pain, shin pain, Achilles problems, knee pain and other problems.

It is necessary to tailor your footwear to the type of sport you are involved in.

Good shoes need strength, cushioning and stability in different places - depending on the various exercise being undertaken. For example when you run you land on the outside of your heel, but you come down in the middle of the heel while walking. It is possible to walk in running shoes but you shouldn't run in shoes designed for walking. However, all footwear should be sport specific.

All shoes need to stop the foot from rolling off the side of the shoe and must have a strong shank (they should not be able to be bent in half).

There is now a wide range of sports shoes which can be tailored to the individual's own walking style. There are shoes which support people whose feet roll towards the inside, those which are neutral, and cushioned footwear for underpronators.

Cross trainers are acceptable footwear for sedentary types who only exercise occasionally, but they should not be used for jogging or serious sporting activities.


Aerobics shoes need to have a strong and well-cushioned forefront because of the length of time spent on your toes.

Court shoes

The best shoes for the tennis court are those which have a hard wearing outer sole, strong uppers and lateral stability.

Shopping advice:

It is best to shop for footwear where staff have a sound understanding of sports shoes. Staff should ask what sport you are involved in, look at how you stand, measure your feet, and watch how you move in shoes. If they fail to demonstrate a good knowledge of sports shoes - go somewhere else.

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