Believe it or not, your feet are quite vulnerable whenever you’re playing sports.
There would be scrapes and tears, torn ligaments, broken bones, and dislocated joints. Not to mention the eternal enemy of runners: blisters.
Let’s not forget other small but terribly painful injuries that could happen to your toenails, corns or calluses that could form, and other skin diseases that seem to exist just to torment people of the more active lifestyle persuasion.
Everyone who plays any sport knows the inherent risks that every deftly executed maneuver entails: every kick in football, every Shammgod move in basketball, and all other twists and turns that involve your feet.
While there’s no sure way to really prevent injuries or other bodily harm when you’re training or just plain doing sports, there are still certain precautions that you can do to ensure that your feet remain healthy and injury-free.
Wear Proper Footwear
The first thing that you should do is, of course, wear the proper footwear for the sport that you’re playing.
Appropriate footwear that’s designed for the sport is essential to prevent any injury.
A common mistake among neophytes is their tendency to just use one pair of shoes for all sport-related activities.
Running shoes for high-impact sports like basketball and football is never going to end well, mind you.
For any kind of sport, dress shoes or those fancy sneakers that people flaunt in the streets are totally inappropriate.
Skate shoes should only be used for skating, otherwise it would get uncomfortable at the very least and cause an injury at most.
Designed to grip a board as tightly as possible, skate shoes lack the proper cushioning and arch support that’s required for various movements.
On the other hand, running shoes can be used for a very casual game of soccer or football. For a more serious game, they just won’t do.
Those shoes only have the proper cushioning for lots of running (well, they’re called running shoes for a reason), but other than that, they are woefully inadequate.
You are more likely to slip when wearing them while playing defense because they don’t have a sole designed for increased grip.
For basketball and volleyball, running shoes don’t have the ankle support needed for a safe landing while on the hard court.
The likelihood of you suffering an injury while playing goes up the moment you choose to wear a completely inappropriate pair of shoes to a game.
There’s even risk of you getting Plantar Fasciitis or a serious ankle injury.
While it is totally understandable if you may not have a pair of shoes for every sport that you play, it might be possible to choose the safest option when picking shoes for playing.
For example, you can use your basketball shoes when playing volleyball, and for limited football, you can also use your running shoes.
Also, remember that buying new shoes for a sport you’re passionate about is better investment than spending more money treating an injury at the hospital.
Low-Impact Cardio is Nice
It’s kind of simple, really. The more often you subject your feet to some strenuous activity, the more chances you have of being injured.
To counter that, it would be prudent to give your feet a breather every occasionally. And by breather, we mean taking a day off to practice some low-impact cardio workout.
These kinds of workout are generally on the lighter side.
While they do keep your heart rate up, they’re not as strenuous as a long run or a full-pledged basketball game.
They’re a lot easier on your body and they’re something that will make your joints thank you in the long run.
The simplest definition of low-impact cardio workouts is that they involve exercise wherein one foot stays on the ground always.
Furthermore, they’re very simple and require very little equipment.
The most efficient low-impact cardio workout is walking. You can either walk leisurely or if you want to challenge your body more, put on ankle weights or hit an ascending trail.
If you have no time to go outside, you can always go up and down your stairs at home. Another great option, if you have a bicycle, is biking.
It is a good way to exercise without putting a strain on your muscles.
If perchance you’re living near the river or some sort of body or water, you can always do some swimming. It is a great way to exercise while at the same time, improving your lung functions and strengthening your shoulders.
Rowing and kayaking can be fun too, if you have the necessary equipment for both.
For a more active person, the low-impact cardio workouts we already mentioned might not be enough. If you’re one of them, you can try hiking as un upgrade from simple walking.
However, to keep it low-impact, start with low-grade terrain at first. Additionally, you can try rock climbing.
Learn When to Buy New Shoes
Everything eventually breaks.
From relationships that should supposedly last “forever” to your favorite athletic shoes that you share so much great memories together.
It’s just inevitable. Stubbornly holding onto them will only increase the chances of you getting injured.
At the most part, you need to change shoes every time you hit the 300-500 mileage, which is around a few months depending on how strenuous your activities are.
While shoes are an investment, they can be incredibly short-term.
There are ways to prolong the lifespan of your favorite shoes but then don’t expect to get a few years out of one pair if you’re using it constantly.
It would be wise to have a backup pair that you can alternately use.
Proper Hygiene is Required
The smell of sweaty feet is repulsively unholy.
Add in socks and a constricted environment called shoes and you have a recipe for athlete’s foot. Or worse, fungal toenail infections.
Additionally, it’s not only your feet that improper hygiene affects. It affects your shoes, too.
Mildew growing on your shoes is an absolute nightmare. They can permanently damage your shoes, make them brittle, and thus easier to break.
Athletic shoes are not cheap, the best ones usually cost around a hundred dollars or more. It would only be prudent to take care of your prized possession by maintaining proper hygiene.
Keep them dry always and remember to change socks regularly so that your leftover perspiration won’t cling to your shoes.
Know Where to Look
Feet injuries are, unfortunately, a natural part of sports.
There’s just no way that you could protect your feet all the time while playing and/or doing a strenuous activity.
However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions. As always, prevention is better than cure.
Another factor to consider about preventing a sports injury is ensuring the quality of the equipment that you’re using.
Most notably the footwear that you’re using. You should know where to buy athletic shoes that have the best quality and not just Class A frauds.
Shoes are an investment and when doing sports, they might prove the difference between winning and losing.