You might have come across people with varying feet sizes and shapes. Some people have narrow feet while others have wide feet. That begs the question, is having wide feet good for playing sports? Players with wide feet have certain advantages and disadvantages. If the wide feet are due to genetics, then they are perfectly fine for playing sports. However, if it is caused by deformities or medical conditions, you need to pay special attention to wearing the right shoe.
The Athletic Implications of Feet
Some people have anatomical variations in their feet that offer them several advantages over others. For instance, if you are someone who has a big toe larger than the second toe, it is going to help you become a good skier or sprinter. Carving an edge while skiing is going to be easier. And while sprinting, you will have an edge when pushing off.
Different body mechanics have different athletic results. There are no defined advantages. However, people with wide feet need to consider several factors in mind especially when it comes to sports shoes for wide feet.
What Causes Wide Feet?
There are six reasons that can lead to wide feet. Age, genetics, improper footwear, deformities, pregnancy, and edema. Genetically, people are born with wide feet. Such feet become wider and longer as they age. The reason is that tendons and ligaments loosen with age.
Deformities can be caused by improper footwear and can contribute to calluses, bunions, and hammertoes. Additionally, the hormone relaxin exists in pregnant women. It promotes wide feet by loosening the ligaments and joints around the feet.
Finally, swellings are mostly temporary and are mostly caused due to injuries or impact. However, they can also make your feet wider for a short period of time. Plus, if you have been blessed with wide feet, they are not going to enhance your performance. The way you look after them as well as the shoes and equipment can play an important role between winning and losing.
Do I Have Wide Feet?
Finding out whether you have wide feet is not that complicated. Sometimes, even people having genetically wide feet struggle to determine whether they have them. This is why the shoe industry has developed standardized sizes for both men and women to take both length and width into consideration.
To check for wide feet, wait until nighttime, and do not do this during the day because the feet expand. Take off your shoes. If you are in the habit of wearing socks, put on a similar pair. Lay down a piece of paper and stand on it. Using a pencil, draw around the foot. Measure the width at the widest point of your feet.
Then, go to the men’s or women’s size chart. Go through the chart and locate your size. Once you locate the size, look at the label at the top of that column. That is your foot width.
The Most Important Thing for People with Wide Feet to Remember
The most important thing for people with wide feet to remember is that they should choose the best sports shoes for wide feet. When it comes to shoes, especially basketball shoes, there is a huge variety out there. Therefore, certain brands cater to the special needs of athletes with wide feet. Therefore, wearing those shoes otherwise is going to hinder the performance.
Meanwhile, people with wide feet complain about discomfort and pain while wearing improper basketball shoes. This leads to calluses, bunions, and crossover toe, etc. According to many, the discomfort is caused due to the wide feet. However, that is not the case. It is solely caused due to improper footwear.
How Athletes With Wide Feet Should Choose Shoes?
Although athletes tend to go for shoes that offer comfort and flexibility, that is not at all required by athletes with wide feet. It is suggested that athletes with wider feet should visit a podiatrist, who can properly measure their feet and find a shoe of the right size.
Once you have been informed of your shoe size, you should move onto selecting the right type. Shoes vary for sports such as football, basketball, and tennis, etc. Furthermore, shoes within a brand also vary in size and shape.
If you are serious about your game and play regularly throughout the week, make sure that you put in time and effort to choose the right type of shoes, which can otherwise lead to pain and other medical conditions.
Concluding, having wide feet is not a problem, choosing the wrong shoe type is. You cannot change the fact that you were born with wide feet. However, you can surely choose the appropriate shoe type and size. Therefore, if you are still unsure, visit a podiatrist and get your feet properly measured so that you are guided to the perfect fitting shoe.