If the FIFA World Cup 2014 has inspired you to get back on the soccer pitch this summer, we’ve got some simple shoe care and foot health tips to improve your playing without the need for an expensive manager or coach!
1. When did you last wear your soccer boots?
Be honest, when did you last play in your soccer boots? Last month? Last season? Last time the World Cup was held? Time to bring them back to life. Clean off any mud, grass or dirt from the boots and studs so you can properly examine them. Check for any damage such as cracks in the leather, damage on the sole, missing studs or worn heels. It may be that it’s actually time to buy some new ones, and consign your old soccer boots to the Great Dugout in the Sky (aka, the garbage bin).
2. Clean and shine
If your boots are sound but somewhat tired, restore the leather with a good quality shoe cream, and waterproof if required. Simply cleaning your soccer boots regularly will prolong their life considerably, and also be healthier for your feet, as clean leather allows your feet to breathe better, and waterproofing keeps your feet dry (!). It may be sunny and dry in most of Brazil, but as we all now, it’s quite a different climate here in Canada…
3. Buy new socks
Don’t even stop to think about it. Go out and buy a proper pair of soccer socks that fit, as you are far more likely to get a blister playing soccer in ill-fitting socks than from almost any other cause. Too tight and they constrict your toes. Too loose and the extra folds of fabric will rub your feet. Just right, and your feet will be properly cushioned, sweat and moisture will be wicked away from your skin, and you’ll be kicking goals like Rinaldo (almost).
4. Sniff your boots
If your soccer boots smell worse than a French supporter’s baguette left in the Rio sunshine, this indicates a build-up of bacteria in the shoe, which could in turn infect your feet. At Hunt Footcare we offer a shoe de-odorisation service that ‘cleans’ the inside of your soccer shoes, leaving them fresh and odour-free. Call us for details.
5. Stretch and warm up before you play
Before playing any soccer game, remember to warm up your foot muscles with gentle stretches, ankle rotations, jumps and lunges. You’ll find a selection of soccer warm-up exercises here http://www.soccerxpert.com/soccertips/id1203.aspx.
6. Sore feet or painful heels after a match
If you find you have foot pain or heel pain after playing soccer, it could be due to lack of support from your boots. In fact, many of us don’t stand properly even in our ordinary shoes, either turning our feet in or out. This imbalance causes stress on muscles and tendons, creating painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis. At Hunt Footcare, we can custom-mould orthotic insoles that place your feet into the correct position, restoring your natural balance. Many of our soccer player patients report that orthotics instantly improve their balance and ability to run without pain, so their playing rapidly improves. Best of all, your orthotics can be used in any pair of shoes to improve your gait every step you take.
7. Buy a World Cup match ticket for your daughter(s)
You may not be aware, but the World Cup is already in Canada! Canada is hosting the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this August, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015, so women’s football will be big news over the next year or so. Why not show your support and attend a game with your daughter(s), nieces, or sisters, and see the game from a whole new angle. And if that isn’t an excuse for buying a brand new Canada Soccer Home strip (jersey), or a new pair of soccer boots, we don’t know what is!
Canada Football online store: http://csa.rmpathletic.com/en
To book an assessment for orthotic fitting or any other foot-related problems, call us at one of our three local orthotics and feet clinics:
- London Foot Specialists (519) 432 3636
- Ingersoll Foot & Ankle Clinic (519) 485-1750
- Stratford Foot & Ankle Clinic (519) 271-8834