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Choosing shoes for Little Athletes

Hi, I’m Joe Brooks and I’ll admit that I am a little bit odd. I look at feet all day every day at Revive Motional Health in Glenorchy. We’re currently helping Little Athletics Tasmania with some blogs for parents about hot topics in the health industry.

Today, I’m going to talk about shoes and where best to start than with a definition;

Shoes - the myriad of footwear options surrounded by marketing spin, designed to confuse and lighten your pocket.

This may not be the definition you find in the dictionary, but it's the definition that I feel suits shoes when selecting for us or our young athletes.

The number of features in shoes that are marketed today's are at best, confusing and at worst, misleading… maybe even a little confronting.

Picture this, you’re in a shoe store, a wall full of shoe types, brands, colours, specialized uses and sizes.

The one question we hope to answer today is, what's the checklist of things we should think about when buying shoes for us or our children.

I will use a few phrases to help your memory.

Horses for courses

If you want a shoe for running, then you should buy a runner. Why you ask? The shoe is designed to be used in a straight line the heel is higher than the front of the shoe resulting in forces pushing the foot forwards.

Short distance running vs long distance running comes down to one thing, weight.

Spikes and racing flats are lighter designed for short, sharp use/ events.

‘Traditional runners’ are heavier and designed for longer wear or for kids that are slightly heavier on their feet.

Tread your own path and select for your own or your child's events.

In comparison if you want a shoe that can be used for a variety of activities like; school sports/ PE, basketball or day-to-day wear, then you should consider a cross trainer. We like to think of these shoes as the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’

But ‘which shoe in the massive range?’ I hear you ask.

Okay, now you’ve selected the shoe for the partcular activity (remember you may need 2 pairs and this will result in longer wear for both pairs of shoes) I want you to remember one key phrase when selecting particular shoes.

Comfort is key… to better performance and foot health.

We’ve read all the science from scientists and those who spend time testing shoes. The best INDEPENDANT (don’t worry we’re fiercely independent) research states that the BIGGEST predictor of injury prevention when discussion shoes is COMFORT.

That’s right, the shoe you find comfortable (and fits correctly) will be most likely to prevent injury.

A word of warning though (especially for kids), comfort isn’t always the newest trendy, most expensive shoe, or the shoe their best friend has just got for their birthday. It's the shoe that they feel is comfortable on their feet while wearing them.

I hope this makes sense, as a gift if you’ve made it to the end of my rant about shoes, Revive Health would like to offer some help. Mention this blog and that you’re part of little athletics and we’ll offer you a special sports rate.

Tread your own path. If you’ve enjoyed my rant or want more information than like us on facebook here

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