Each year, more than 1.2 million Canadians suffer from sports-related injuries that could have been prevented through proper fitting footwear and shoe selection. To avoid getting sidelined, it’s important to purchase and wear an athletic shoe designed for your specific sport. This is crucial because shoes are designed specifically for the demand of each sport.

For example, a running shoe has an elevated thicker heel to help propel the person forward in a single motion direction. However, a basketball shoe has a lower heel, keeping you closer to the ground to help facilitate lateral movements. If you wore the elevated running shoe to play basketball, it could increase your possibility of ankle sprain.

But many of my patients don’t realize that shoes have a lifespan. Athletic shoes are made of plastic and plastic breaks down over time. On average, a running shoes lasts 700 kilometres before it stops providing you with the support you need. For people who are active at their sport three to four times a week, this means they need to replace their running shoes once a year.

Even if you’re not that active, don’t think your shoes will last forever. The plastic will break down and harden in your closet, which means you’re almost new-looking shoes are not providing the protection you need. Fit is very important when choosing athletic footwear. If you choose a shoe that is too short, too long, or the wrong width, it can affect the function of your foot. If you do suffer from a sport injury, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist can be an invaluable member of your team. Call your local pedorthist for a personal assessment and pedorthic treatment plan to help you get back in the game.