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How to Protect Your Feet While Playing Football

Almost everyone has thrown a football around here and there but most of us don’t play serious football where thick and heavy padding is used to protect the body and long spiky cleats are worn. Football generally turns into a much more mild sport that is either tackle-free (to protect the players from physically harming each other) or just tossing around outside. But just because you’re not tackling doesn’t mean that you can skimp on the footwear. Playing any sort of football without the proper equipment can be very dangerous and leave your feet and ankles especially vulnerable to injury.

HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE:

This is serious football, and if you play on this level, you most likely are not even allowed on the field without all of your protective gear and proper shoes. You must wear football cleats (they are designed differently than baseball or soccer cleats) and they should fit snugly but not too tightly to allow for your feet to have the best support. If your shoes are too loose you will end up with blisters and possibly a sprained ankle because you will be more prone to tripping. If your shoes are too tight, you may end up with athlete’s foot and have pain in your feet from not being able to walk or run properly.

FLAG FOOTBALL:

This football may seem more relaxed than competitive football, but there are actually many injuries associated with flag football because people are not wearing protective gear. You should play flag football in football cleats as well because your movement is still similar to that of competitive football. When you shift direction quickly and wear sneakers, you don’t have enough control over the movement of your body and can end up twisting your ankle or worse.

TOSSING A FOOTBALL:

You should at least be wearing sneakers. Sometimes when you’re tossing you’re on uneven ground and wearing flip-flops can be disastrous. There is no need for football cleats as you’re not running or competing to catch the ball. Your sneakers should be comfortable, athletic sneakers (and not sneakers that are simply fashionable). They should be properly laced up and worn with socks to prevent blisters.

No matter how casual the sport you are playing, your footwear should always be taken seriously. With the right shoes, you can make sure that you are protecting your body the best that you can. Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients for over seventeen years. If you have any questions, call our Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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