Happy Feet?

We’ve seen big changes in footwear over the decades and basketball shoes have been no exception. We’ve seen chucks, Jordan’s of all varieties, to low cut Kobe’s, and more recently differing shoes in the KD’s and Lebron’s. Nike and other brands are constantly evolving to produce different shoes. I was a sucker over the years trying to chase the latest and greatest and went through multiple pairs of shoes. But which ones are right for you??

Many questions surrounded Adidas in the ‘season of ACLs’ where the bulk of players who required knee reconstructions had been under Adidas contract and wearing their shoes (Rose, Rondo, Gallinari to name a few).

The more common question raised is which shoe will give me the most support?

High top vs low top actually hasn’t produced substantial evidence to support either way. We do know taping and braces help but the cut of the shoes is thoughts to contribute very little. What evidence has found is that more expensive footwear has placed athletes at higher risk of injury. This study was conducted in the days of Nike Shox and Air Max bubbles. Analysing this data and we can conclude that these added features impact our ability to respond to landing. With a firm shoe surface the body may respond at a faster rate, to counter any ankle inversion (the position of rolling) initiation.

If you’ve sprained your ankle or feel weak through your ankles – you may wish to stay tuned as I talk about ankle strengthening exercises – it is best you avoid an elevated heel or any addition into the heel. The air cushioning or ‘Shox’ systems delay the proprioceptive response of the ankle as discussed and place you at further risk of re-doing your injury.  There was a trend away from using this technology when the studies were published, but we see the air cushioning returning in the latest KDs…

As also stated, it is best to ensure that the ‘pitch’ of the shoe is relatively neutral. This means that the heel sits as similar level to that of the toes. This avoids the plantarflexed (toes pointed) position in which the ankle is often injured in, as the small ligament at the front of the ankle is on stretch here and deemed one of the weaker ligaments in the body.
It must be understood that these flatter style shoes are appropriate for recurrent ankle-sprainers and cant be suited to everybody. The real trade off then lies with those who have suffered patella tendon problems or shin splints as these conditions generally prefer a more elevated heel ‘pitch’. A shoe must always suit the individual but at least this puts you on the right path in your selection. It’s also important to look good as when you start draining buckets, start crossing up ankles, or explode down the lane to throw it down, your feet are what are left dangling at head height for your opponent to look at.  KG still has nightmares over these Lebron’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tag9UmmFfY8

Pic source = pixabay.com



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