Eliminate the Foot Pain and Improve Your Golf Swing with Proper Shoes

You are a keen golfer but you are suffering from serious foot pain which seems to be hindering your swing and your game as a whole?

You are not alone. In fact, a large number of people who play golf have a similar problem, and often are ready to even give up playing because of the lingering foot pan and non-satisfactory performance at the tee box.

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The truth is that you shouldn’t rush to throw those golf clubs out quite yet. The problem could be with finding the most appropriate shoes which will limit and even eliminate the pain in the feet and will help improve your overall performance on the golf course.

The most common problematic and panful foot spots and conditions which golfers face are the heel, ball and big toe. The pain is often due to stretched tissues, stiff foot and leg joints as well as in some cases nerve damage. The pain cause by these conditions can really hinder your game, and also if left untreated can lead to more serious injuries and painful conditions.

Even though golf isn’t a contact sport, it still can put quite a bit of strain on your body. Most of this strain is experienced during the golf swing. As every swing starts at the feet which push and pivot against the ground in order to produce the whip like, lateral movement allowing for the hips to rotate while the legs are fixed. During a properly performed golf swing, the back foot needs to enable more pronation than the one in front.

In a biomechanical point of view, a proper golf swing starts with the body weight evenly distributed between both feet, with just a little more weight on the forefoot and on the insides of both feet. Then during the backswing, the weight has to be shifted to the back foot where it must be evenly distributed mostly to the inside of the back foot. If you tend to shift the weight to the outside of the back foot, this can cause a “sway” rather than a proper swing which results in incorrect contact with the golf ball.

During a good golf swing, the back foot remains fixed, whilst the front foot comes off the ground and turns rolling to the inside in order to allow a good full turn of the shoulder. Experts say that golf swings must always be played from the insides of the feet.

If you use an improper technique, you will not only fail at properly swinging but can also face some mild to serious injuries to the feet, legs and body.

Some of the common golf related injuries and painful conditions include:

  • Lower back and neck stiffness and pain due the pressure to the vertebrae, ligaments and muscles around the spin during the vigorous twisting motion of the golf swing. This common golf health problem can be caused by overpronation due to improper posture alignment during a swing.
  • Wrist and elbow pain and inflammation due to overuse and playing on hard surfaces, which can be resolved by physiotherapy and wearing an elbow golfers brace to reduce the strain.
  • Knee pain and problems in golfers are commonly due to wearing ill-fitting and improper shoes while playing. Proper shoes, orthotics as well as practicing the proper motions of a good golf swing can reduce and eliminate.
  • Pain in the shin can be caused by overpronation which put a lot of extra load on the lower leg. This kind of problem can successfully be resolved with orthotics, shoes or inserts which prevent overpronation.
  • Various foot pain and foot problems are common for golfers. Some of them are milder and others are more serious and can be quite painful if not treated properly. These include:
    • Plantar fasciitis which causes serious pain in the center of the heel which can be felt under the foot arch. It is often due to excessive pronation, which can be avoided and fixed by wearing the proper shoes, inserts or orthotics.
    • Metatarsalgia – it can be an inflammation of the nerves in the metatarsal area on the bottom of the foot, and is very often due to ill-fitting shoes with tight toe boxes or high heeled shoes.
    • Achilles tendonitis which can be caused again from wearing the inappropriate footwear and by failing to properly stretch before playing golf. To prevent this painful condition, it is recommended to wear shoes which provide proper cushioning, sufficient firm arch support which will help reduce the stress on your tendons while golfing.
    • Ankle instability or arthritis are common foot problems amongst golf players too. Often caused by previous ankle sprains and injuries, this is a painful condition, which can lead to more serious injuries during a golf match. It too can be cause by wearing ill-fitting shoes, or shoes which do not provide sufficient support to the feet and ankles.

The importance of getting the right shoes for eliminating the pain in the feet, legs and the body during and as a result of golfing is crucial. This will not only make the game more pleasurable, but will also improve your golf swing and overall performance on the golf course.

In some cases, custom made orthotics may help reduce the pain or prevent it, but by wearing the right shoes, you will not need to order these quite expensive accessories.

Shoes for golf which keep the feet stable and balanced and help improve the posture and weight distribution during a swing are imperative to the overall performance and to helping avoid the abovementioned painful conditions. Shoes which provide enough cushioning as well as control of excess pronation are recommended for golfers who are looking for improving their performance and golfing experience.

Here are some recommendations for buying the best golf shoes to help with foot, leg and body pain and allow you to perform better golf swings:

  • Always try on the new shoes after you have played your round. This will allow you to get the feeling of the shoes when your feet are swollen rather than when they are normally rested.
  • Make sure to wear the same type of socks you will be wearing when playing when trying out the shoes.
  • Try out both shoes on, as feet often can be slightly different in size and shape. Choose the shoes which provide sufficient comfort for both your feet.
  • The shoes should provide sufficient space for your toes. Don’t expect that shoes which feel tight on the toes or on the arch will stretch over time. Moreover, golf shoes should provide sufficient rigid support, so they are not likely to stretch over time.
  • Always keep in mind your specific foot and arch type as well as your gait type when buying shoes. Obviously if you have wide feet, you need to look for shoes with wider toe boxes. Also arch support is crucial for keeping the feet aligned, stable and injury-free. For players with high arched feet, we highly recommend getting these athletic shoes.
  • If you play in wet weather, you should look for waterproof shoes for golfing. Always dry your golf shoes before wearing them again.
  • For added comfort and an improved performance, consider buying shoes which are breathable and moisture flicking. This will keep your feet fresh and nice, and will prevent your heels from slipping during a game.
  • Bunions and hammer toe may require wider toe boxes, soft and flexible uppers, special lacing, or in some cases, inserts or custom made orthotics.

Finding the proper shoes for golfing will save you from a lot of pain, risk of injuries or more serious health conditions, and will also allow you to improve your swing, concentrate on the game, and play much better, so make sure you take the time to pick the ones most suitable for your feet and needs. It may mean investing more on footwear than you had planned, but it is crucial for your health, pleasurable experienced and for your overall performance on the golf course.

Adam Jenkins
 

I’m certainly no expert on the game of golf, but I am someone who knows what it’s like to start out completely overwhelmed. From one beginner to the next, here's to a better golf game!

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