By Travis Links
Choosing athletic footwear may seem simple; you pick a pair of basketball shoes for basketball, a pair of running shoes for running, or a pair of cross training shoes if you dare to spread your horizons. Unfortunately, there is much more that goes into deciding which pair is right for you. Everyone’s feet are a little different and if you do not have custom orthotics that are specifically made for you you will have to settle on a shoe that is “best” for you and not perfect for you. Shoes that come from the major manufacturers are typically a medium width and have a low to mid grade arch support. The most important thing that needs to be correct in a shoe is the size; which includes length and width. Your foot should fit in the shoe with the great toe approximately half an inch from the end of the shoe. The toe box or width of the shoe should leave enough room for you to comfortably spread your toes without being restricted. You should never feel like your toes are being squeezed together! Next is choosing the right arch support. some people have average arches, some have a condition called pes caves, a high arch, which requires more support. Other people have pes planus or flat feet and often there is a misconception that arch support is not needed. This is completely false and can lead to other injuries. Lastly make sure you are tying your shoes tightly. If you are slipping your shoes on and off you susceptible to injuries because of the instability it creates.
If you are training and are having issues with tightness in the calves or with plantar fasciitis consider looking at your shoes. If you have too little or too much arch support in your shoes it can lead to ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, calf strains, achilles tendonitis, knee pain and a plethora of other things. Luckily in the baton rouge area we have a few stores that are knowledgable about properly fitting for shoes. Fleet Feet and Varsity Sports both do an excellent job at fitting you for your shoes and not trying to sell you the most expensive pair. I will also go through how to analyze feet and footwear with Fabian and any other coach that would like to know what to look for when fitting an athlete.
Recovery after a workout begins as soon as training ends. Literally with the first step after exertion you body is trying to heal itself. To alleviate some of the soreness after a workout, or any pain you may be having in the feet or lower extremity I recommend you take your shoes off immediately when you are done. Try to find a good pair of sandals that offer some arch support. This will allow you to restore the full range of motion of your toes, and allow venous blood to be pumped from your feet and lower leg back into the body to promote healing. Olu kai and Rainbow makes a great sandal with support but there are also several other brands that are great. One last bit of advice is to have more than one pair of shoes. There is some recent research that says that the soles of a shoe take approximately 24-36 hours to recover. This means to offer good support they require a recovery period just like our body does. This will not only give you more support but will make your shoes last 3 times longer. In other words if you alternate shoes you will have support every day and save money in the long run.
As always if you need anything don’t hesitate to call me or talk to me if you see me around.
CrossFit Zachary carries the perfect shoe for CrossFit. It is not designed to run long distance (2+miles) because of our high intensity workouts, the Reebok Nano is the right fit for you!