Saturday, 24 June 2017
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Are Shoes Contributing to Injuries?

One of the most common injuries in soccer is the ankle sprain. This often occurs when the player goes over on the ankle and tears the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. If the injury is bad, the ligaments on the inside of the ankle also get damaged as they get scrunched together during the injury.

Recovering from a sprained ankle will be based on the degree of the injury and how well the athlete treats the injury. Many athletes re-injure the ankle if they come back to play too early. Just because the pain and swelling may have gone down does not mean the injury has properly healed for game action.

The injury can be caused in many ways including contact with an opponent and falling awkwardly or by stepping in a rut on an uneven patch of grass. But the strength of the supporting muscles and shape of the foot and the footwear can also be a factor in causing sprained ankles. For example, if a player has a wide foot but the supporting studs under his shoes are close together and narrow, then there is a possibility that it may be easier for that player to go over on his or her ankle and sprain it.

Players who have had previous ankle injuries and may be prone to more injuries should look at the width of the stud pattern when deciding which shoes are best for them.

"Unfortunately, we often get customers who come in and want a particular shoe or shoe colour because they have seen a big name player wear it or a teammate recommend it", says Norm Tsolakis of JMT METROSPORT- The Soccer Store. The problem with that is that, not everyone's feet are the same. Pros often get their shoes custom made and this will take into consideration their width, arch, heal, height of their instep and so-forth.

 

Tsolakis says, "Although we do our best to advise our customers, sometimes our customers are adamant about wearing a certain shoe based on marketing instead of their foot and history of their previous injuries."

One player on my team, (a goalkeeper) recently sprained his ankle after punting the ball downfield. As the game went on, he went down as he landed and went over on his ankle. A few minutes later the referee was notified that the keeper was down so he stopped the play and I attended to him. He really did himself in and was out of action for 3 weeks, being forced to miss the first 3 games of our season. When I looked at his shoes, I noticed that he had a popular Adidas shoe that has a standard width, but he has a wide foot. Those shoes were not the best for his foot and probably contributed to the injury.

Please do not base your purchase of soccer shoes on looks or the marketing efforts of brands. Since your shoes are the most important piece of equipment for a soccer player, make sure they fit comfortably and take into account any issues you may have had especially as it pertains to injuries. If you have weak ankles, try and find a shoe with a wider base and that have studs that are a bit shorter. If you have had knee injuries, you may want to give up the side to side traction that a bladed sole gives and go with a rounded stud pattern so that you do not re-injure your knee.

Norm from JMT METROSPORT says, "The reason we try and carry as many different models and varieties of shoes, is that every soccer player has a different foot and have different issues. We are finding that today's consumers, especially the young ones, are more concerned with looks than with comfort. Unless you want to risk injury, blisters and other problems, make sure you find a comfortable shoe that gives you the features for your foot, not what someone else wants you to wear. After all, they are your feet!"

"And one last thing", says Norm, "I hate to hear when a customer comes in and says that they want a cheaper pair of shoes because they don't play at a high level. We carry all price ranges but the criteria should not be based on the level that one plays. Does that mean that the amateur player's feet are not as important as the pro players? I know that my feet are important to me regardless of what level that I play. After all, they are my feet and I'm more likely to play on lousy fields compared to the higher level players. I want my shoes to keep me as comfortable as possible.

Sometimes, I find that a less expensive shoe actually feels more comfortable for me than an expensive shoe for whatever reason. That's what I have to go by. My feet must tell me what to buy, not some advertising campaign or Messi or anyone else."

Thanks for reading,

John DeBenedictis

 

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