Physical Activity

Footwear and Physical Activity 

Author : Ken Van Alsenoy
Sports Podiatrist
Aspetar



April 10, 2017


From all sporting activities, walking may be the simplest and safest form of exercise.  It is also particularly nice to do during the cooler months of the year.  You only need a pair of good shoes. If you wonder if you can use just any type of foot wear like a traditional slipper or your favorite sneaker for your upcoming walking activities, this article will help you get a head start.

When you walk, the equivalent of your full body weight goes through your foot with each step that you make. On average, you make about 10.000 steps when you walk a distance of 5 kilometers. In a person weighing 80 kilograms, each foot gets to resist an accumulated load of about 400 tons.  That’s about the weight of a 120 Toyota Land Cruisers for each foot.  Needless to say your feet and legs need some assistance from proper footwear.

Within our Sports podiatry Clinic at Aspetar, we see many people referred by our ‘Exercise Is Medicine’ Clinic. Many of those patients want to adopt a healthier lifestyle of regular exercises that goes beyond activities of daily living to improve and maintain their physical fitness and health by being more active on a daily basis.   Helping those patients to find a proper shoe is the foundation of our treatment.

The majority of the people we see in our clinic are wearing very flexible shoes that only represent one end of the wide spectrum of shoes available in sport shops.  Their choice usually is dependent on one aspect of comfort namely ‘softness’.  Every sport shoe manufacturer will produce a wide range of sport shoes for all the different kinds of feet.  In general, looking for a good stable shoe, that fits your foot in length and width, should be a good starting point.

Such shoes have a heel counter that is stiff and difficult to push in.  This is the area of the shoe which surrounds the back and side of your heel.  Further, when you pick up the shoe by the heel and toe and bend the toe upward, the shoe shouldn’t bend at some random point halfway along the shoe, it should only bend where the toes bend. Shoes that easily bend in the middle decrease the protection it can provide during walking.  Last, good supportive shoes should have laces to adjust the shoe to the shape of the foot when you pull them tight.

The goal of National Sports day is to let people enjoy the benefits of physical activity.  Experience shows us that people, who wear proper supportive sport shoes like this during their physical activity, tend to walk better and longer with less discomfort.  So when you buy your next sport shoe, test it to see if it will help you to have a great physical active experience.

 


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  • thanks for this post!

    Posted by anonymous user on May 30, 2017 10:57 AM Report abuse
  • great article!

    Posted by anonymous user on May 29, 2017 12:47 PM Report abuse