Most officials spend a great deal of time caring for the appearance of their shoes. Few consider the other parts of their shoes, or even their feet. Tanel 360, maker of athletic footwear, offers some hints to ensure that your shoes last and are comfortable.
Purchase well-made shoes that support your feet and ankles. Pay particular attention to the cushioning for the bottom of your foot and the necessary support in the arch area.
Purchase the correct size.
Americans have the tendency to buy tight shoes and often assume that their shoe size will remain the same. Our feet flatten out as we age, adding both length and width. Don’t be surprised if you are buying your shoes at least a half size too small.
Try on shoes toward the end of the day.
Typically, feet swell throughout the day or after physical exertion. If you size your shoes in the morning, you may actually be buying them too tight. When sizing your shoes, wear the same socks you would wear while officiating.
Wear the right socks.
Foot care professionals recommend one pair of high-quality socks. Two pairs of socks can lead to additional friction, which can cause blisters. Your toes should not touch the end of the shoe. If your toes hurt after a game or your toenail turns blue, your shoes are probably too tight.
Few people realize that additional thickness of the insole plays a part in the sizing of the shoe. Up to one width size and one full size in length can be determined by the thickness of insoles. Thicker insoles lift your foot into a narrower part of the shoe. If you have tight shoes, consider switching insoles to a thinner, high-quality pair.
Now, about the shoes.
That helps with foot care, but what about shoe care? The biggest error most officials make is leaving their shoes in their equipment bag between games. Remove your shoes from the bag when you get home. The worst thing for shoe glue is moisture. If you are working three times a week, your shoes may never dry out completely. That may lead to splitting along the sides of the shoe, especially where the outer sole meets the remainder of the shoe.
Use a slightly damp cloth to clean shoes that become dirty or caked with mud. Let the shoe dry thoroughly.
If your shoes become wet, stuff the inside of the shoes as tightly as possible with newspaper. Place them away from heat to allow them to dry naturally. The stuffing will prevent the shoe from shrinking.
If you like a little extra support, consider taking the laces out of the top eyelet of the shoe. Instead of crossing the laces, bring the lace on the outside of the shoe through the top eyelet. Pull it tight enough to form a small loop between the top eyelet and the second eyelet. Cross the shoelace over to the other side of the shoe and bring it under the loop on the other side. Then pull the two shoe strings together and tie in a normal fashion.
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