Each of your feet has 30 joints, 26 bones, and over a hundred muscles—not to mention the many tendons and ligaments. Regardless of whether your sport involves lifting, dancing, walking, running, or jumping, your feet get a workout when you engage in it.
At New Canaan Podiatry in New Canaan, Connecticut, board-certified podiatrist Jennifer Tauber, DPM, and the team offer customized, sport-specific footwear recommendations to help you avoid sports injuries.
If you’re not wearing the right footwear to support your feet, you can damage one or more of the key foot or ankle parts that help you maintain balance, move, and stand. Five of the most common sports injuries you can avoid with the right shoes include:
1. Stress fractures
Stress fractures are tiny cracks or breaks in your bone. They often develop by overuse during repetitive activities, like running. Most stress fractures develop in the feet and legs, which absorb most force when you step.
Wearing the right shoes can help prevent stress fractures by correcting your form and providing added support to your feet and ankles. They can also help absorb some shock running places on your feet.
2. Bone spurs and plantar fasciitis
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or professional athlete, wearing shoes that don’t fit right, are worn down, or aren’t the right shoes for your activity, can lead to bone spurs. These small bony protrusions often appear on the heel and are frequently associated with plantar fasciitis or inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects your toes and heel.
You can help prevent both of these conditions by choosing sport-specific shoes designed to give you the control, cushioning, and support needed to minimize foot injuries like bone spurs and plantar fasciitis. Be sure to replace the insole as soon as it no longer rebounds when you press it.
3. Ankle sprains
Most athletes have dedicated footwear for their sport. It’s easy to wear the same shoes when cross-training or engaging in other physical activities. But wearing the wrong footwear increases your risk of an ankle sprain as not all shoes are designed to support your ankles similarly. Dr. Tauber can recommend the right shoes for the activities you engage in.
4. Achilles tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis (or Achilles tendinopathy) develops the tendon that connects the back of your heel to your leg and gets irritated and inflamed. While you can get this condition from an injury, like a hit to the tendon, most people develop Achilles tendonitis from overuse.
Research shows that choosing shoes that help propel your foot through your stride can help reduce some of the force on your Achilles tendon and prevent this painful condition. Talk to Dr. Tauber about the benefit of selecting rocker angle shoes to help avoid Achilles tendonitis.
5. Turf toe
Turf toe is a common sports injury that involves spraining the main joint of your big toe. This usually happens when you hyperextend your toe, such as pushing from the ground, but the toe gets stuck.
Although many people think of turf toe as an American football injury, the truth is that athletes and regular exercise fans in various sports and physical activities get turf toe. It occurs most often on hard surfaces, like artificial turf or asphalt.
By choosing footwear designed to provide the right amount of flexibility and adequate foot support without letting your foot flex too far forward. Dr. Tauber is happy to make personalized footwear recommendations for avoiding turf toe.
Learn more about how to protect your feet during sports with the right footwear by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Tauber at New Canaan Podiatry.