We often hear, “what is the best shoe or brand of shoe on the market”? The easy answer is…it doesn't exist! This is because your feet, and how they move, is completely unique to you. However, there are a couple of important factors to keep in mind:
1. Look for a strong, semi-rigid heel counter in the shoe. This support will stabilize the heel and help to provide stability during motion. An easy way to check for this is to squeeze the heel of the shoe at about the middle of the heel; you should feel stiffness in this area. If the shoe is easy to compress inwards, there is likely a soft heel counter or it is completely absent.
2. The midsole of the shoe should also torsional stiffness. If you grab the heel and forefoot of the shoe and twist in opposite directions you should meet resistance. If you can wring the shoe out, the midsole is very flexible and could present problems if you are prone to foot trouble.
There are countless options in regards to knee sleeves and knee wraps. Often these are used when compression of the knee provides some support and pain relief. While the support may vary so to can the condition of the knee that needs this treatment option. Most designs do not provide a high level of support but work well in mild cases. When considering a knee sleeve or support, consider the following:
1. What is the brace made of? Neoprene is rubber based and while the brace may last longer the brace will be very hot to wear.
2. Are there any non elastic straps or metal joints? If the entire brace stretches there is very little support provide to the knee other than compression and warmth.
3. Does your patella (knee cap) require control? Many sleeves have a “doughnut” hole in the middle and indicate that this helps support the patella. In fact this is false as most sleeves cannot achieve patella support as your patella will travel inside the sleeve. There are special designs for cases where patella control is required.
-Mr. Al Heaver C.O. (c)