Walk A Mile In My Shoes

You probably wouldn't want to, way too painful after even a few metres I suspect.

How much do you think about your feet though? Probably not a lot. Seriously though they have a lot to put up with. The whole of your body weight crushing them from the moment you wake, stand up, until you finally go to bed. You feel tired, how about the old 'plates' by then ?

Marvellous items feet, 26 bones in each one and held together with tendons, ligaments, cartilage and muscles. Hence that fabulous movement capability. Add to that your weight bouncing up and down on them all day and then the ultimate disrespect; crushing them all ways in the evening playing badminton. Lunge, jump, leap, stop. Your foot takes it all.

So, easy solution, if there's a problem buy some new ones! But we can't!

We can help them though by encasing them in proper shoes. Those that fit, support, absorb the shock, ergonomically correct, undamaged, lightweight and if that's all ok, even look good in your preferred colour.

I know most people don't like looking at other's feet but if you happen to it's likely you'll never find 2 pairs the same. So how come so few sizes of each shoe are produced ? After all there's not only the length of the shoe to consider but the width, height, overall shape, shock absorption, support, ergonomic design and durability. If a pair were made to fit every combination the cost would be enormous and the shop would be the size of Wembley Stadium.

So we have to compromise.

Length is an obvious and prime factor but as many others as possible should also be considered. FZ Forza and other manufacturers address some of these issues to varying degrees so you have to look closely and examine what you're buying.

Things have improved tremendously since the days of the ubiquitous Dunlop 'Green Flash', one shoe does everything product. It's good to see that some manufacturers are even producing width fittings. Great for people like me with feet more like flippers as opposed to the slender Asian foot.

Support has also come on in leaps and bounds, (hmmn!) with the advent of lightweight thermoplastics and composites.

All these 'extras' are great for your foot health but unfortunately only come at a price.

In terms of longevity many players have shoes that are long past their sell by date. Feet have many thousands of sweat glands which pour your body's fluid into your socks and shoes. If you really want to know how much wrap your feet in plastic bags and see what's in there when you've finished playing! You wash your socks but the poor old shoes lie in the holdall, rotting till next time. Let them out, air them, give them a chance.

Footwear is designed to look good, it's what sells them so that hard external shell doesn't degrade too badly. Internally though, a very different matter. The soft inner breaks down much faster, support disappears and your feet suffer. The outers look great but look inside occasionally and see the resultant horror of countless hours of heat, sweat, pressure and bacterial action.

Considering all these things can help your feet but indirectly and even more importantly they affect your knees and the rest of your frame. Far more subtly and probably unnoticeably over a far greater time span. How many badminton players do you know with serious knee problems or hip issues where they're in pain or perhaps can't even play now? Your shoes are crucial in helping prevent such injuries, perhaps not immediately but certainly long term.

And it depends where you play. Is it a rubberised, sprung wood, concrete floor? Whichever, we have little control over that but appropriate foot wear can help reduce its damaging effects.

When you buy new shoes, don't just accept a 'vague' fit because you like the colour or design. Make sure you're getting the most for your money. Your choice can affect your feet and physique for the rest of your life.

BadmintonAlpha have some excellent FZ Forza court shoes available, ideal for replacing those old worn shoes you were wearing last season!?

Stuart Brighton
13th July 2017
Stuart Brighton

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