How to choose a sports shoe

 

Different sports place different biomechanical demands on the body and the feet.

A sport like running is all about continuous movement in one direction, whereas a sport like tennis involves much more lateral movement.

It makes sense to make sure that you have the most appropriate footwear for your favourite sports.  That way you are less likely to get injured and you can enjoy your sport more.

If you would prefer to have footwear that can be used for a variety of different activities then you should chose a cross trainer or a netball shoe.

See below for key features of different types of sports shoe:

Running shoes

  • usually well cushioned to help absorb shock
  • lightweight
  • mesh upper to keep weight down and feet cool
  • grip for one directional motion
  • different levels of support according to running style (whether over pronator, neutral or supinator)

Football boots

  • designed to help you turn, change direction, pass and shoot
  • studded or bladed outsoles provide little cushioning and boots generally don’t have much arch support or controls for foot motion
  • a sports insole can help provide more cushioning and support if that’s needed
  • make sure you’ve got the right boots for hard ground (moulded studs) or soft ground (screw in studs); to allow for traction and movement

Rugby boots

  • forwards usually have 8 studded boots as they provide more traction
  • backs usually have lighter 6 studded boots that allow for faster movement
  • studded sole plates generally provide little cushioning and boots don’t have much arch support or controls for foot motion
  • a sports insole can help provide more cushioning and support if that’s needed
  • make sure you’ve got the right boots for hard ground or soft ground; to allow for traction and movement

Tennis/racquet sport shoes

  • mid-foot support but also flexibility for lateral movement
  • grip for multi-directional movements
  • support for the ankle because of the need for lateral movement
  • low profile for good contact with surface
  • fore-foot and rear-foot cushioning
  • correct grip for good traction on different surfaces
  • more durable rubber in areas that get more highly worn
  • indoor court shoes e.g . for squash and Badminton have gum rubber on the soles
  • for good grip on wood
  • Indoor court shoes are lighter and have more of a mesh upper than tennis shoes

Netball shoes

  • stability support and flexibility for directional changes
  • cushioning from impact from jumping and landing
  • grip for multi-directional movements
  • durable outsole for wear on hard courts
  • a netball shoe makes a great all round sports shoe due to all of the different types of movement required in the sport

Hockey shoes

  • hockey shoes are designed to be stable and durable and offer protection from the hard ball
  • they normally have a grip that is suitable for artificial grass