Proper Footwear for Weekend Warriors

By on April 1, 2013

(NC)—Being tied to a desk all day combined with overdoing sports activities on the weekend has landed many a participant on the sidelines. Now experts say those who play a hard game of sports once a week, but are inactive the other six days, are even more at fault for the injuries that plague them.

“In addition to failing to train sufficiently for the sports they participate in, many weekend warriors also fail to select the proper footwear,” says Ryan Robinson, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist and president of the Pedorthic Association of Canada. “Not wearing the correct footwear can cause problems ranging from minor discomfort such as blisters, corns and calluses to more serious conditions including repetitive stress injuries to the joints and muscles.”

Robinson cautions that one pair of running shoes may not serve for all sports. Joggers should wear running shoes which are specifically designed to absorb shock and propel them forward. However, running shoes are not appropriate for a game of basketball, which requires footwear to withstand side to side motions to protect against injury. Choosing footwear appropriate to your sport reduces the risks of injury and helps you play smart.

Equally important to wearing activity-specific footwear is replacing shoes at the end of their lifespan, often something weekend warriors neglect to do. The cushioning and supportive materials in running shoes break down over time, even if they're not being used, leaving the wearer without the support they require. Depending on the use, running shoes typically have a shelf lifespan of 600-700 kilometres, or around 12 months. If you are a distance runner, however, you will need to replace your running shoes more frequently than that.

As with all footwear, athletic shoes must fit properly. Shoes that are too long, too short or too wide can affect the function of the foot. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a recreational athlete, get your athletic footwear professionally fitted by foot expert, such as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. This simple step will help keep you off the sidelines and in the game.

More information on reducing sports-related foot injuries can be found online at www.pedorthic.ca/injury-prevention

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