Footwear for Safety
Wearing the appropriate sport shoe can help prevent injury
Choosing the right shoe for your sport or physical activity may seem like a simple task, but keep in
mind the correct footwear can possibly reduce the likelihood of a painful sports injury.
Every time your heel strikes the ground your foot is subject to impact forces which can sometimes
be between 3 – 5 times your own body weight.
Tips for buying athletic shoes
There is some basic information you need to consider before you purchase your sports shoe:
• Your activity
• Your weight
• Your foot positioning on standing
• How you have worn out your previous shoe
There are four shoe features which can be simply tested when in the shoe store:
The greater the twist of the shoe, the more the foot will roll. You want a shoe with minimal movement. To test, grasp the sole and the front of the shoe near the ball of the foot and twist lengthways.
The shoe should bend right at the ball of the foot. If it doesn’t, neither will your foot. The shoe should remain stiff from the back of the heel foot. Grasp the heel and toe of the shoe and push together.
Midsole densityWith your two thumbs, compress the rubber of the midsole. If it compresses by more than a third it may be too soft. Soft shoes with lots of cusioning are only good for walking. If you are a pronator (foot rolls inwards when you walk) you may need a shoe with dual-density to the ball of the midsoles – where the sole on the inside of the heel is soft and the sole on the outside of the heel is hard. If you are a supinator (foot rolls outwards when you walk) you may need a neutral midsole.
With your thumb, squash down on the heel counter. The strength of the heel counter is important in keeping your heel upright. Make sure the heel counter is made of plastic, not cardboard. Plastic provides more support and will last longer.