April 20: Protecting Your Feet with Rose Melendez
Before you run onto the field to play your favorite spring sport, be sure to step into the proper footwear. April is Foot Health Awareness Month, which serves as a perfect reminder to check out your sneakers or cleats before beginning spring athletic activities.
While regular exercise improves your overall health—wearing the wrong footwear can cause more harm than good. Our feet carry us the equivalent of five times around the earth in the average lifetime, so it’s important to keep them in good health. Wearing improper shoes can cause ankle and foot sprains, stress fractures to the foot or ankle, and a range of painful, long-term foot problems like plantar fasciitis.
If you play any of the following sports more than two to three times per week, follow these guidelines to ensure you are wearing the proper sport-specific shoe that will best protect your feet.
- Basketball, tennis and volleyball: Shoes should have a thick, stiff sole, high ankle construct and be lighter with less midsole support and a sole that is more responsive to quick starts and stops.
- Football and lacrosse: Shoes should high ankle support, allow for proper traction on grass and never be hand-me-downs.
- Soccer: Shoes should have a good-quality foot-bed, feature the study type for the ground that will be played on, and use molded rubber cleats rather than the screw-on variety.
- Baseball and softball: Shoes should offer support to prevent arch pain and should not include metal baseball spikes for players younger than 13.
- Running: Shoes should provide shock absorption, match your foot’s arch type and be replaced after 600-800 miles of running or walking, or every six to eight months.
Learn more about the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle injuries and other orthopedic care at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital and Shady Grove Medical Center.