Athletic Shoe Evaluation – Why You Can’t Judge a Shoe by its Cover

While the vast majority of children, adults and athletes alike are naturally inclined to select their shoes based on what’s new & popular in magazines and television commercials, the truth behind walking, running and cross-training shoes is that there’s more to shoes than just color, size and name brand. From the outsole to the insole, podiatrist Mark Reeves recently shared his Key Principles to Evaluating Athletic Footwear in Podiatry Today.

In his article, Dr. Reeves discusses the four components of a shoe – the outsole, midsole, cushioning device(s) and insole. Depending on the shoe quality and intended use, various rubber or plastic materials may be used during the manufacturing process. All shoes are certainly not created equal. Proper shoe lacing techniques, walking and cross-training shoe tips and rocker bottom shoe technology are three other elements discussed by Dr. Reeves.

Findings by Williams and colleagues were mentioned – and seem particularly relevant to the running population – “Runners with low arched feet are more likely to sustain soft tissue injuries and those with high arched feet are more likely to have bone injuries such as stress fractures1. This is precisely why athletes should carefully select footwear that supports their natural foot structure and gait pattern.

Read Dr. Reeves’ full-text article here: http://www.podiatrytoday.com/key-principles-evaluating-athletic-footwear

1 Williams DS, McClay IS. Measurements used to characterize the foot and the medial longitudinal arch: reliability and validity. J. Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2000; 80(9): 864-871

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