Choosing Shoes for Sports | Tips for Healthy Feet | Patients | APMA
Choosing Shoes for Sports

Sport-specific shoes can really affect the way you play. Make sure to have your feet professionally measured by today's podiatrist to find a correctly sized shoe. If you participate in a certain sport at least two to three times a week, you should wear a sport-specific shoe.

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Avoid some serious pain and raise your game by checking out the best shoes for several sports below.

Basketball, Tennis, and Volleyball

Common foot injuries: sprains, stress fractures, tendinitis

The appropriate footwear should:

  • Have a thick, stiff sole that provides support for impact.
  • Have high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction (for basketball).
  • Be lighter, have less midsole support, and contain a sole more responsive to quick starts and stops (for volleyball).


Common foot injuries: ankle sprains, turf toe, ingrown toenails, Sever's disease

The appropriate footwear should:

  • Have a good-quality footbed, which can help provide proper support for the arch and user’s foot type.
  • Feature the stud type for the ground that will be played on most often: soft, hard, firm, or turf.
  • Use molded rubber cleats rather than the screw-on variety.

Football and Lacrosse

Common foot injuries: turf toe, Achilles tendinitisankle sprains

The appropriate footwear should:

  • Have a good amount of high ankle support. This support is especially important for linemen and other players who make frequent lateral movements during play.
  • Allow for proper traction on a grassy field, in both wet and dry conditions.
  • Never be hand-me-downs; ill-fitting cleats increase the risk of ankle injuries.

Baseball and Softball

Common foot injuries: sprains, stress fractures, plantar fasciitistendinitis

The appropriate footwear should:

  • Offer support to prevent arch pain, which frequently affects catchers. Customized shoe inserts called orthoses may help alleviate the pain.
  • Not include metal baseball spikes for athletes younger than 13.
  • Try multi-cleats for children ages 11–15 to avoid heel pain.


Common foot injuries: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, stress fracturesMorton's neuroma

The appropriate footwear should:

  • Provide shock absorption to help runners avoid injury. Running shoes are made for high-impact forward motion and should not be used for sports with lateral movement.
  • Match your foot’s arch type (high, medium, low). A podiatric physician can measure your feet and let you know what type to look for.
  • Be replaced after 600–800 miles of running or walking, or every 6–8 months.

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