Not everyone can be Leonardo da Vinci. The famed Renaissance polymath is highly regarded not only for his paintings, but sculpture, architecture, engineering, mathematics, biology, mapmaking, and just about any other natural science or creative art you could think of.
When it comes to versatility, most fall short of the “Renaissance Man” ideal. That probably goes for your athletic shoes, too! Many people have one pair of “generic” sneakers that they use for any and all athletic pursuits. Running, basketball, soccer, tennis—your shoes are pulling double, triple, even quadruple duty, on top of the fact that you might be wearing them for everyday activities, too!
There are, unfortunately, many problems with this approach. An obvious one is performance. Simply put, if you want to be the best you can be as an athlete, the right gear can make a big different. More important, though, is your health. Almost all sports subject the feet and ankles to pressure and stress, but different sports pose different kinds of challenges and risks.
For example, court sports like tennis or basketball often require a lot of starts, stops, 360-degree motion (forward, backward, and side-to-side), and the like. The best shoes for these kinds of supports often have a higher collar for ankle protection, plenty of traction for skid-free stops, and they need thick and durable sole for all the abuse they take. Cushioning, while still important, tends to be a little bit less than other types of athletic shoe, because too much cushioning can create a sense of lateral instability.
By contrast, running shoes can (and do) provide more cushioning for the heel and toe area, and because there’s no side-to-side motion, ankle support isn’t as critical. Furthermore, fabrics that are lighter and more breathable are preferred over the heavy materials of court shoes.
Of course, if you’re just going out on a whim to shoot some hoops for 30 minutes on a Saturday morning, we’re not saying you need to go out and buy a $200 pair of Air Jordans. However, if you’re going to be playing a sports 2-3 times per week (or more) in season, or you play less often but regularly (for example, pick-up basketball every Saturday), we strongly encourage you to seek out an appropriate pair of sport-specific shoes. You’ll play better, you’ll feel better, and you’ll reduce the risk of getting KO’d by a sprain, stress fractures, heel pain, or other sports injury. Your shoes aren’t Da Vinci! Let them stick to what they’re good at!
If you’re already suffering from one, or just need help finding the right footwear for your activities, schedule an appointment with us at (877) 866-2417 today.