For kids and adults alike, autumn weather signals another opportunity to engage in sports. The daytime provides the warmth for outdoor time, and in the evening, the cooler weather prevents folks from overheating as they train. Footwear choices are changing from flip-flops and sandals to walking shoes, flats, and boots. With all the changes (including the colors of the leaves), it gives an opportunity to get new shoes!
Children and Fall Sports
At this time of year, school or town leagues are in full swing. Soccer, football, cross-country, and tennis are in competition mode and children are trying to rack up points for their team. This is a good time to inspect equipment and especially footwear to make sure that your children are protected from possibly injury.
Footwear – Each sport usually has a specific type of footwear suited for the movements of the sport. Soccer and football usually require cleats to allow for traction on grassy fields. For those who are prone to ankle injury, there are some cleats with high tops to support the ankle. Cross-country and tennis will require supportive, cushiony sneakers for caring for the feet and ankles during impact and lateral movements. The wrong shoes can leave your child at higher risk for injury or even with an accident that takes them out of the sport for the season.
Equipment – Some sports have protective equipment as part of their uniforms. Football players have shoulder pads and helmets and some other sports have shin guards for impact situations. Inspect equipment to make sure that they are in shape to protect against those impacts that could lead to broken or fractured bones.
Adults and Fall Sports
There are also many adult leagues outside of the professional groups like the NFL and MLS. For recreational sports, adults should also make sure that you have protective gear and footwear. In addition to the common fall sports, hiking and marathons are also popular fall activities. As adults, we are not less at risk for injury, so make sure to wear any protective gear. We at Clark Podiatry Center want to encourage you to train with supportive and properly cushioned sneakers for running. Hikers should use boots that are “broken-in” before the first hike and make sure to stretch and warm up feet, ankles, and legs.
For those who have injuries or foot/ankle issue, but want to participate in fall sports, we recommend that you make an appointment to see Dr. Brandon Macy before you engage in anything that might worsen your problems. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Macy, serves the Clark, NJ area, as well as the town of Westfield and surrounding Union County to keep you walking.