Athletic activities can put considerable pressure on your feet, increasing your risk of injury. Shoe orthotics for athletes can provide extra support, comfort, and protection while running, jumping, and performing other repetitive or strenuous movements.
Athletes put their feet through a lot of wear and tear, whether from constant running on the track or cycling cross-country. If you play sports regularly or professionally, you run the risk of developing acute or chronic injuries to your feet. In fact, foot injuries are some of the most common types of injuries among athletes, according to the Pedorthic Footcare Association. Wearing orthotic footwear can lower your risk of injury, prevent chronic conditions, and support your feet during athletic activities.
Common Foot Injuries
Participating in certain sports—such as long-distance running, basketball, or tennis—places a significant amount of stress on your feet. Since your feet contain many bones, muscles, tendons and other structures that are prone to damage, you have a higher risk of suffering an injury. Sports that require you to change position suddenly and frequently—such as tennis and basketball—place added strain on your feet. Rougher contact sports, such as football or wrestling, often produce tendon or ligament tears than can affect your life inside and outside of athletics.
Some common foot injuries that athletes encounter include:
- Stress fractures caused by overuse
- Plantar fasciitis caused by too much stress
- Turf toe sprains caused by overextending the big toe when pushing off the ground
When you do not wear shoes with enough support for your needs while playing sports, your risk of foot injuries is much higher. Your high-performance shoes should allow enough flexibility for your sport while also protecting your feet from shock and strain. If your shoes are not properly protecting your feet, custom orthotic footwear options can help.
Orthotic Footwear Options
With the high risk of foot injuries among athletes, wearing orthotic footwear offers an effective solution. This type of specialized footwear is made from semi-rigid materials to ensure you have full range of motion, comfortable flexibility, and consistent support while participating in your sport of choice. Shoe orthotics for athletes are available in various types that provide targeted benefits, such as:
- Inserts: Custom-made inserts, including arch supports, help reduce the amount of weight placed on your feet while running or playing sports. Inserts can also offer increased shock absorption, which lowers the amount of strain or stress on your feet during these activities.
- Shoe modifications: Orthotic solutions sometimes involve making modifications to the athletic shoes you already own to provide pain relief and prevent foot problems from developing. These modifications can be sport-specific in order to provide you with the highest level of protection while allowing you to continue wearing the shoes you prefer.
- Accommodative orthotics: If you have already experienced a foot injury and are training to get back in the game, accommodative orthotics are customized to work with braces, bandages, or other devices that must be worn while the injury is healing.
If you are concerned about how orthotic footwear may affect your athletic performance, keep in mind that shoe orthotics for athletes can be implemented in smaller steps so you can comfortably transition out of regular footwear.
Learn more about orthotic footwear options for athletes by contacting Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics at 501-683-8889 to set up a consultation. We can custom-fit a pedorthic solution for your foot concerns to keep you performing at your best.