Sport-specific shoes really can change your game. See the tips below to learn why the shoe you choose could make or break your day on the court or field.
Basketball — Whether you’re making the perfect pass or finishing off the high-flying dunk, basketball shoes have several features that will help you prevent injury.
- A thick, stiff sole gives support while running and landing from jumps.
- High ankle construction supports the ankle during quick changes in direction. A basketball shoe should have the strongest support on either side of the ankle.
Racquetball/Tennis — On the surface, court shoes for tennis and racquetball may look like any other athletic sneaker, but it’s what’s on the inside that makes the difference.
- A court shoe supports both sides of the foot because of all the quick lateral movements and weight shifts in court sports.
- It provides a flexible sole for fast changes of direction.
- It has less shock absorption than a running or basketball shoe.
Running — The running shoe is perhaps the most personal and intricate of all athletic shoes. Every runner has different needs and there are a multitude of choices out there.
- A running shoe must provide maximum shock absorption to help runners avoid ailments such as shin splints and knee pain. The shoe should control the way your heel strikes the ground, so the rest of your foot can fall correctly.
- Know your foot type (high, medium, low arch) so you can get the shoe with the right support for your foot.
“Generally, you want to go with the sport-specific shoe if you are participating in a sport on a regular basis (2-3 times a week). Make sure the shoe fits correctly. Fit is just as important as the right type of shoe,” says APMA Director of Scientific Affairs Dr. Jim Christina.