If you are going running, you need running shoes, right?. If you want to walk, then you’ll find what you need in the walking sneaker category. Most sports have their own shoe, which makes it a little easier for beginners to understand what is expected of them. If you’re playing your first game of golf with the boss, golf shoes are the way to go. Almost nobody buys bowling shoes unless they are planning on bowling all the time. Recreational bowlers need not go quite that far. It’s dizzying. It’s especially dizzying for a parent who is trying to support all of their child’s sporting interests. Showing up with the proper pair of shoes is equally as critical as remembering to pack them clean underwear before they go off for a sleep over.
Here’s the kicker, for the already hustled parent of today, these shoes become a little more complicated as outdoor sports are now also becoming indoor sports. Soccer can be played in either arena, and require two different pair of shoes. Football and baseball are spreading, granted slowly, into the indoor arenas of the world, also requiring new shoes.
Track is not quite the same thing as running and a cross country shoe is needed for those long distance runners. Remember when we were kids?. We had a play pair and a dress pair. Ode to the simple life. It’s rather long gone. School leagues make all these shoes a requirement, which is fine for those who can afford it. Those who can’t are forced to deny their child the joy of playing sports, which can not only teach them a great deal but can also become a healthy lifestyle over some of the options available to idle children. Most of the time, the shoes, the uniform, the dues, and the tournament costs are enough to drive a parent into a second job. Swimming would be a good sport, but talk about pool fees. Swimming can be done for free at your local water’s edge!Athletic footwear has, in the past twenty years or so, taken a huge leap forward. There is a valid reason for requiring all these shoes for all these sports. Through technological advancement, science, and interest, these shoes have each been designed for the optimum fit for the expected performance. Some sports require a lot of short burst of speed followed by onâ€”aâ€”dimeâ€”precision footwork. Others require more extensive bursts of speed. Some require a combination of both. Proper footwear helps to prevent injury. These new advancements in athletic footwear have only put a marginal nick in the number of emergency room trips for sprained ankles and torn ligaments, but they have shown extensive improvements in the large scale, long term injuries that can develop. The breaking down of cartilage, bone spurs, wear and tear on joints, and foot development problems have decreased significantly for both major athletes and those who participate in school sports.
What does this mean for the future of athletic footwear?. Nothing outstanding. There will be more developed choices, the better than average brands, the chronic competition to be the best, and the increase in price as the quality matures. After all, the expense of knees and ankles is definitely worth the cost of an excellent pair of athletic shoes.
So this raises the questionâ€”when is it necessary to start plunking down large chunks of change for the correct athletic shoe, the best athletic shoe, and the eternal ‘latest and greatest’ athletic shoe?. I mean, should I run to the store and blow $150 because my kid says he wants to play basketball, only to find out a month later that basketball made us aware of his vertical challenges?. Now he thinks soccer might be his game. My personal belief, and I have many that are highly unpopular, is that you get the best you possibly can for the level of play. Yes, I believe that a fourth grader should have the proper equipment, even if he is just dabbling in the sport to figure out whether or not it’s his game. Having the right shoes with the right fit can go a long way against injury, which is why most sporting organizations and schools require them.