Your feet work really hard for you in a lifetime - the average person will walk around the world the equivalent of three to four times. If you enjoy sports involving running, then your body weight will be multiplied up to three times or over 1000 strides per mile per foot - this would be equivalent to an average-sized man carrying 112 tons of weight through each leg each mile. So - your feet deserve looking after!
The impact of all this hard work on your feet can be minimised by having well-fitting sports shoes, chosen for the specific sport you enjoy. When looking at the fit of your shoes, there should be approximately 1cm or small finger width between the end of the longest toes and the end of the shoe.
The Asics Gel Kumo 2 running shoes for men and women will protect your feet with good shock absorption and cushioning built in. (You can also track your time, pace and distance by inserting a Nike+ Sportswatch GPS.)
Look for good “shock absorption” if you’re participating in high impact sports, and remember a running shoe will be good for approximately 500 miles before needing to be replaced. If you’ve been prescribed orthotic insoles your podiatrist to correct your gait or to remedy foot pain, the New Balance 780 for men and women is a neutral running shoe which will accommodate your orthotics.
With winter coming, sports footwear that protects the feet from the elements can be an advantage. Adidas Kanadia 4 trail for men and women have a specialised off road mud shedding design with a gusseted tongue to help them remain clean.
Do work new shoes into your running schedule if you’re training for an event - never wear a brand new pair of shoes for the event itself, no matter how good they feel!
For football boots, Adidas Kaiser Cup is a good boot for keeping the foot feeling comfortable during a match with its quick drying inners feature, and providing the traction needed to be the next David Beckham. Remember always to secure the fastening on sport shoes to protect the ankle joints.
Look for detachable insoles in sports shoes which will lift out and dry more efficiently when your feet get hot and sweaty. This also allows for a full length corrective device (orthotic) to be fitted into your sport shoes if you require them.
Decent socks are important for sporting foot health too. The Calvin Klein Coolmax sport socks for men are made of a mixture of fabrics to “wick” away moisture; this in turn helps prevent rubbing and blisters, and the possibility of fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. For women, feet should be protected from footwear even when participating in a gym class by wearing socklets such as Hilly Monoskin Lite with their two layer fabric to wick away perspiration, antimicrobial properties and flat toe seams to prevent blisters.
If planning to take part in a competitive event, or even just a charity fun run or walk, swab your feet daily with surgical spirit. This toughens the skin and make it more resistant to blister formation. After the event, pamper your feet with something like Rituals Lao Tzo Foot Cream, or soothe tired aching legs with Origins Leg Lifts.
Expensive though the prospect may be, do check the fitting of children’s sports shoes regularly, as their feet grow in spurts and if they’re involved in sporting activities, ill-fitting footwear can cause permanent damage to the nails, toes and joints. Don’t invest in too many pairs of different types of shoes as they do grow out of them so quickly; one well-fitting pair of supportive shoes you can throw out when they no longer fit is the best option.
If you budding athlete hasn’t mastered doing up his laces yet, the Geox Crush shoes with their 3 Velcro straps will give him a fastening and support needed to run about, without worrying about doing up laces. For girls, the Clarks Fluency Cross Trainer are a good all-round sporting shoe for knocking about in the park or participating in more organised sporting activities.