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Why Wearing Proper Footwear Matters
- contributed by Aaron Connolly

From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
"Helping coaches coach better..."

Aaron Connolly is the author behind Make-Shots, which is a free resource offering expert research information on basketball. Here, we write and publish basketball news, offer tips, suggest sports gear, and give advice for individuals who love and actually play basketball.

In the vast world of sports, it is important for athletes to have a sound mind and body. Being of sound mind and body means that an athlete has his or her head in the game and can bring forth their best during each match. It takes a lot of time, effort, and talent to excel in sports. This is why children are encouraged to join sports at a younger age so that they can develop skills over time. Not only that, but joining sports has benefits for the human body. Since you are physically fit, you avoid sickness and get better sleep. Even for adults it lessens the risk of short-term anxiety.

Whether you are a sports fan or an athlete, we all know that each sport utilizes specific gear. Of course, to win a game an athlete needs to prep his or her gear to use. The kind of gear that one uses all depends on the kind of sport that the athlete plays.

For active sports like basketball and volleyball, the common gear that both sports use is their footwear. Each sport has designated designs that were specifically made for the sport. Basketball shoes are more sturdy and made with thick, leathery materials and do not allow much flexibility. Meanwhile, volleyball shoes are made to provide stability while remaining flexible. Volleyball shoes are much lighter compared to basketball shoes, while basketball shoes are heavier.

Why are we talking so much about footwear, you might ask? Well, it is because of the importance of wearing the correct footwear when playing sports or even just doing any kind of physical activity that puts stress on your feet.

Why should we wear proper footwear?

Wearing the right shoes while doing a physical activity is often overlooked. Most of us do not exactly put that much detail into picking out shoes as long as they are comfortable to wear. Some individuals shop for shoes simply for the style, since there are hundreds (and even thousands) of shoe styles to choose from - like heels, sandals, slip-ons, Chuck Taylors, sneakers, cowboy boots, and more!

Athletes, however, need to pick out the right shoes in order to play at their peak performance.

Even referees of games need to wear the right shoes. Especially in basketball, where the referees also need to run back and forth in the court to see all the ins and outs of the games in order to properly enforce the rules. If you are a referee, you might want to check out a compilation of our Best Basketball Referee Shoes that will help you pick out the best shoes for your games.

What are the benefits of wearing proper footwear?

What exactly is the importance of wearing the proper footwear? Even if you are just walking along the sidewalk, going for a run, climbing up a mountain, or running through a basketball court, we all need to be equipped with the proper footwear and here’s why:

  • Avoid injury
    According to WebMD, “the feet are flexible structures of bones, joints, muscles, and soft tissues that let us stand upright and perform activities like walking, running, and jumping.” Thus, our feet are considered as the base of the foundations on which we stand upon.

    Whether we are just taking a walk on the sidewalk, going for a jog, or engaging in physical activities, our shoes also provide protection from the environment. Without shoes, accidentally stepping on glass would result in wounds, walking during intense weather would cause great harm and discomfort to our feet. Even wearing the right shoes can prevent things like disfigurement, parasites, fungal infections, and athlete’s foot.

    If an athlete does not wear the correct footwear during sports, the athlete is prone to injury. Shoes lessen the impact of an athlete’s jumps and provide ample cushioning for the foot when making heavy landings.

  • Improve performance
    For athletes, improving one’s performance for sports relies on a lot of practice and hard work. They need to dedicate a lot of their time for training and discipline themselves on becoming consistent in executing great plays.

    If an athlete does not wear the right footwear, it could result in injury and it could greatly affect their performance. Athletes know that having great gear vastly improves their physical skills. A simple change in footwear could affect an athlete’s gameplay, especially if he or she is not used to wearing those shoes yet.

    It also helps for athletes to practice their sports in the shoes that they’re going to use when in game. It might be a rumor that you need to “break in your shoes” when you first purchase them, but you can actually wear newly purchased footwear as long as they feel comfortable!

  • Allow comfort
    Speaking of comfort, this is one of the most important features to look for when purchasing footwear - especially footwear intended for sports! Why? Shoes that are meant for physical activity are supposedly designed for comfort, safety, ability to withstand great impact from different forms of movement, and durability!

    Normally, when shopping for footwear some people may have a preference of style over comfort but seasoned athletes know that comfort when wearing proper footwear has a lot more benefits than just looking good. What’s the point of having great-looking basketball shoes if you can’t even run properly in them?

    When looking for shoes to wear, trying on the shoes and feeling them out (like jumping, running, or walking in them) to test them is highly advisable so you can test whether your feet will be comfortable or not. You’ll notice that with the appropriate shoes, your feel will not feel as tired after a long game or running around all day.


That being said, whether or not you are looking for shoes for casual use or for physical activity, it is good to keep in mind that we need to wear the proper footwear in order to keep our feet safe from harm and injury, improve our performance in game, and decrease soreness from all that activity.