Barefoot Podiatry knowledge and focus on Sporting Footwear is a point of difference that separates this clinic from others in South Australia.
Director, Michael Nitschke, with previous experience of working in Adelaide’s best renowned athletic footwear retail outlet – Jogger’s World along with his involvement in competitive athletics has given him the best experience when dealing with athletic footwear.
His extended athletic footwear knowledge also has lead to Michael lecturing at the University of South Australia to the upcoming Podiatry students in this area.
The Importance of the Correct Footwear
The athletic footwear industries over the past couple decades have grown, with more and more technology being placed into shoes for specific sporting needs. A ideal example of the categorization of running shoes, where running flats are now being created from countless amounts of research to place a customers foot into a running shoe with the correct amount of support, cushioning and stability. The footwear industries also focus on creating specific shoes, for specific sports; football, netball, athletics, walking, cricket, hockey and road racing.
At Barefoot Podiatry, we are interested in helping you, the client; find the correct shoe(s) for you via our precise biomechanical assessments and sports history taking. To find the correct shoe for you, we assess the following:
- The biomechanics of foot to work out what range of support and/or cushioning you need – using visual gait analysis
- The type of activity you participate in and how often you do it (i.e. 100km a distance running weekly or just 1 or 2 casual weekend walks)
- The width and shape of your foot
- Whether you wear orthotics and what kind of orthotic.
[OS: picture of Video Gait Analysis along with Picture of Footwear Wall]
We also give you advice on when new shoes are needed, and how long shoes will tend to last.
It is important to find the correct shoe for you, so that it is most comfortable and will reduce your risk of developing foot and lower-limb injuries.
This category of shoe places an emphasis on cushioning & flexibility for those runners/walkers with few biomechanical problems. Normally uses a curved or semi-curved last, with an increased level of cushioning systems and softer midsole. Normally slip-lasting.
This category of shoe will blend cushioning with stability. This category will normally add a post or footbridge (firm material or dual density) place in the midsole to increase stability along the medial side of the running shoe. ‘Aimed to slow down the rate at which pronation will occur.’ Normally slip lasting or combination lasting.
This category of shoe has the highest degree of support (medial posting from forefoot back to rearfoot) and more likely to be straight lasted to accommodate for lower arch and flexible foot type. Normally has a combination or board last.
Between a trainer & racing flat, sacrificing a bit of cushioning, support & durability. Although it is built for that runner wanted to slice a few seconds of their running times.
Built for speed. Reduction of weight by thinner midsole and outsole (by about 20%). Decreased heel raise height and thinner upper materials. Increased flexibility in midsole.
A running shoe (any of the categories above) that has a higher focus on traction, durability and possibly water proof.
Cross Trainers Footwear
A multi-purpose athletics shoe, built to mix running with court sports. As opposed to a running shoe and X-trainer has the following: Denser Outsole (built for increased durability and lateral court movements), leather or synthetic upper (decreased amount of mesh), higher upper (medial and lateral ankle support). These shoes can also be built with a neutral or stability midsole.
Fitness & Comfort
These shoes a structured very similar to a running shoe, although the midsole is lower-profile with less cushioning (silicon) products through the shoe, especially in the forefoot. These shoes will fall under the running shoe categories aswell. These shoes will have uppers constructed more likely of leather than mesh materials. Less durable than runners. Heel bevel is centred, for first contact point in walking.
Shoe specifically developed for Diabetics (normally recognised by Diabetes Australia Footwear Criteria). The main components include: Seamless internal aspect of the upper (leather/suede), Velcro securing system to allow for easy fitting. Some shoes in category, the midsole/outsole carries a ‘rocker’ type system to allow easier ‘sagittal plane’ motion during gait (decreasing submet pressure). These shoes are normally wider and have a deeper toe box region.
Sport Specific Footwear
Large market here in Australia. Synthetic/Leather uppers. Outsoles vary from blade to removable sprig (weather/ground dependent). Normally flat sole, some with heel raise.
Obvious Australian market. Asics are market leaders here. Range from firm and inflexible to some which are built more like running shoes. Outsole can have pivot point (under 1st MPJ) and denser midsole under than region.
Low profile midsole, reinforced upper, and outsole materials built to have good traction on indoor/outdoor court. Normally very durable shoe.
Track & Field
Categorised in sprint/middle distance/long distance and field events. Sprint shoe has increased rigidity with spike plate and synthetic. Long distance has midsole and mild heel raise, light upper (mesh).
Barefoot Running Shoes
Many companies have approached this idea. Nike free is the popular example, built to replicate barefoot motion in an attempt to ‘strengthen intrinsic muscles of the foot’. For more information regarding specific footwear such as this, Contact Barefoot Podiatry.