You know it's Spring when local fields are full of children playing all types of sports. As a sports parent, you'll equip your child with all the right equipment specific to each sport - glove, helmet, face mask and mouthguard - to protect as best as you can against injury.
Importantly, don't forget quality, well-fitting footwear based on the sport's demands as well as the individual requirements of your child's foot.
Sending your child off to practice or a game wearing inflexible or inappropriate shoes can turn fun into discomfort. Poorly-fitting or worn out athletic shoes can impede an athlete's natural movements and even harm the development of the foot.
Your child may get painful blisters or more serious injury from wearing the wrong shoes during sports. In rare cases, even permanent foot deformities may result. Plus your child won't be able to perform well if their feet hurt and may even want to quit the sport.
Tips for Getting the Right Athletic Shoe for Your Young Athlete
At the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A., we recommend the following steps when equipping your child with sports footwear:
- Shop carefully for athletic shoes and don't limit your child to just one pair for all activities - most sports demand shoes that fit specific athletic requirements.
- Patronize stores that specialize in athletic footwear for the largest selection and knowledgeable sales people.
- Shop later in the day when the feet are largest and always have both feet professionally measured.
- Think sport-specific - for example, running shoes cushion the foot during forward movement while tennis shoes are made for side-to-side moves.
- Always bring your child's own athletic socks for trying on shoes. Acrylic socks that wick away moisture are best for active athletes.
- Look for quality-made shoes of durable materials that breathe - leather, suede and canvas are good choices.
- Make sure that there is at least 1/2" wiggle room in the toe box area.
- Let your child walk around the store in new shoes to check comfort and that the heels don't slip.
- When purchasing cleats, avoid excess pressure spots by choosing styles that have multiple cleats on the heel. Cleats for younger children should be shorter - no more than 1/2" - to prevent ankle and knee injuries.
Important note - recheck your child's athletic footwear often for fit and excess wear. Those cleats may look like they can make it through another season, but not if they cramp your child's foot.
Let us know if you have any concerns about the proper sports shoes for your child's unique foot and chosen activity.
Prevent Injury and Foot Pain for Your Child with the Right Sports Footwear
Dr. James M. McKee, DPM, board certified podiatrist at the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. has the right experience to diagnose and treat sports injuries in any age group, along with all types of foot and ankle pain. Please call us at 410-224-4448 to make an appointment at our office in Annapolis, MD. You can also request an appointment at the website. A sports injury won't get better by itself - call us today to start down the road to recovery!