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A brief guide on how to select the correct footwear

Having the right footwear can make all the difference to your training schedule and will help to prevent injuries but too few people bear this in mind when choosing sports footwear.

There are various shoes and trainers designed for individual sports, which help to support the feet in different ways. By wearing the wrong trainers you could be leaving yourself open to suffering from a number of conditions including back pain, blisters or Achilles tendonitis.

Running shoes

Football boots

The types of surfaces on which football is played can put a substantial impact on your feet. By not wearing the appropriate type of footwear, you could suffer from calluses and corns or problems with your toenails. If you choose a good set of boots you shouldn’t experience damage to the feet.

You should also consider the type of surface you’re playing on, whether that is grass, astro turf, indoor or a hard outdoor surface. Your boots may be perfect for the grass but on astro turf they won’t dig in as far and you’ll feel like you’re running on stilts.

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Racket sport shoes

For those who participate in sports such as tennis and squash, there are specialist shoes that are designed to deal with the types of movements the games involve.

If you use general sports shoes they won’t provide you with the right level of support whereas tennis shoes are made to handle the variety of side to side movements that are involved and are also sturdier.

Andy Murray as an example has suffered from a number of ankle injuries in his career and now wears a pair of ankle supports to help offer additional support on the court and minimise the risk of subsequent injury.

Aerobics trainers

Fitness shoes are the best choice for aerobic activities as they offer the right support, cushioning and flexibility. This enables them to reduce the amount of shock and impact that you’re putting on your feet and ankles.

Running shoes

If you use trainers when running, you need ones that have the correct amount of space for your feet to move whilst in motion. Special running shoes have more flexibility in them than general sports shoes. It’s vital that running shoes fit correctly to prevent you suffering from blisters.

You can have them expertly fitted in many sports shops, where they will look at your gait and assess the right shoes for you.

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Walking boots

The type of shoes or boots you require for walking and hiking will depend on the level of intensity of your walks. Those who enjoy shorter walks or go hiking infrequently will put less of an impact on their feet. In this situation a good quality pair of shoes or trainers that fits correctly and has a sturdy sole will be sufficient.

However, more frequent walkers should choose a specialist walking shoe that will offer you the additional support needed.

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Netball and basketball trainers

As with racket sport players, those who take part in court games will make a substantial amount of side to side movements during a match. Cross-trainers are an excellent choice for these activities, as they will give you the right support and flexibility for the movements you’ll be making. They can also be used for a number of other activities and sports.

If you spend more time choosing the right shoe for the type of activity you’re carrying out, you’ll be less likely to suffer discomfort or an injury.

If you’re unsure as to the best type of shoe you should be buying then a visit to a specialist sports retailer may be the answer i.e. a tennis shop, where their staff will be trained on all things to do with your chosen sport.