Should my kids be wearing sport specific shoes?

Kids sports shoes

When it comes to our Kids, we all want them to be active and healthy. This is exactly the same for our patients, one of the main treatment aims for our paediatric patients is to keep them as active as possible through treatment. In trying to keep our kids active, lots of our little ones have signed up to be in their first basketball or netball teams, or they may even have their first tennis lessons coming up! 

With new sports comes new equipment, and with new equipment comes new footwear. So, do they really need a basketball or netball specific shoe to play? Or can they get away with wearing their everyday runners serving them for their school P.E classes you bought them at the start of the year?

The short answer is yes. Your kids should be playing their extracurricular sports in sport specific shoes.

And for a couple of reasons too. 

  • Normal runners purchased from the shops are purpose built for running in a straight line. Which means the uppers of these shoes are not meant for hard, sudden changes in direction which are common in the sports mentioned above. Court shoes for Netball, Basketball or Tennis will have a robust upper made of synthetic leathers which contain the foot onto the outsole which can reduce the risk of injuries. 
  • Outsole materials. The tread seen on sport specific shoes are often softer and more adept at creating greater amounts of traction on hardwood floors or tennis hardcourts than a traditional runner can. 
  • The overall design of the rubber outsole of court specific shoes also encourages better grip too. 
  • Kids who participate in field-based sports such as hockey or lacrosse that play on turf or artificial grass are often encouraged to wear artificial ground soccer/footy boots or trail running shoes to increase traction that flat soled runners would not otherwise provide. This is to reduce risks of injury sustained on the field.

If you still have any questions regarding the types of shoes needed for kids sports please contact our clinic to set up an appointment with one of our very experienced podiatrists to ensure your little ones are in the best shoes they can be for their beloved sports! 


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We want to know how your foot or ankle concerns impact your life and learn about your goals.