It’s important to choose the right footwear for your children’s activities. Sneakers made for tennis players will provide different support and traction than cleats made for football players. Below is a list that will help you make the best shoe choices for your little athlete, or even for yourself!
BASKETBALL, TENNIS, VOLLEYBALL:
A thick, stiff sole that gives support while running and landing jumps. Basketball players should look for high ankle construction that supports the ankle during quick changes in direction. Volleyball players should look for a lighter shoe, with less midsole support for quick starts and stops.
FOOTBALL AND LACROSSE:
A good amount of high ankle support is especially important for lineman and other players who make frequent sideways movements during play. Football and lacrosse players should have shoes with proper traction on a grassy field, in both wet and dry conditions. Shoes with proper traction can help prevent injury.
Soccer shoes should have a good-quality footbed, which can help provide proper arch support. Make sure they feature the stud type for the ground that will be played on most often: soft, hard, firm, or turf. Also, use molded rubber cleats rather than the screw-on variety.
BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL:
Shoes should offer plenty of arch support. If you experience arch pain, try using customized shoe inserts called orthotics. Baseball and softball shoes should have no more than a half inch of space between the big toe and the end of the shoe. Metal baseball spikes should not be used by athletes younger than 13.
A good running shoe should provide maximum shock absorption to help avoid injury. It is also important to match your shoe to your foot’s arch type (high, medium, low). Replace your running shoes after 300-500 miles.