Good Shoes are Essential Proper footwear is essential for physical activity. The right shoes are important for safety and efficient movement.
The Proper Shoe Can: Provide protection against harmful surfaces and injury. Absorb shock Provide stability and support Allow the foot to “breathe”. Feel great!
When selecting foot wear consider the basic parts of the shoe. The sole- it provides the stability and is the base of support for the foot. It should be flexible and provide a cushion for the foot. A high sole decreases the stability and increases the probability of injury through the turning of the ankle. The uppers- upper materials should cover the entire foot. The heel counter should lock around the foot to cushion and support the heel. A firm heel counter controls motion or movement. A proper fitting shoe should be firm enough to support the heel and the Achilles tendon. The toe box- is the front tip of the shoe that protects and provides an area so that the toes do not become too crowded. The width and height should permit full motion of the toes.
Physical education classes incorporate a large number off activities with forward and lateral movements. An all- purpose shoe is best for these movements. Essential characteristics of an all purpose shoe include: Support- the heel counter provides stability and control foot movement. It protects the Achilles tendon from trauma and can provide sufficient width to protect against ankle turns. Cushioning- shoes should have adequate cushioning in the heel and the midsole. Performance- a light weight shoe requires less energy output over long periods of activity. Good traction is also important. The shoes material should “breathe”. This means materials such as nylon mesh promotes perspiration evaporation.
Other Considerations Cross trainers, tennis or court shoes are recommended for physical education activities (French, Kinnison, & Stillman-French, 2009). Elementary age children do not need shoes specific to the activity/sport they are participating in. Fit girls into shoes specifically for girls. Their feet are generally narrower. Consider Velcro closures for children that have problems tying their shoelaces. This will will guarantee a snug closure. Many shoes come with long laces that are potentially dangerous because children trip on them. Outer sole materials should offer traction, cushioning and flexibility, especially across the metatarsal break in the ball of the foot.