Are Inappropriate Shoes Landing NFL Players on the IR List?

December 17, 2013
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Pat Kirwan, a NFL Insider, wrote an article for CBS at the end of September questioning the increase in the number of football players on the IR list.  He pointed out that at the same time in 2012, there were 99 players versus the 171 listed in September of 2013.  As of now, that number has risen to 214.  Concussions and knee injuries commonly take players out of the game, but those rates held steady between the 2 years.  There was, however, a jump in the percentage of football players out with foot and ankle injuries. 


The increased number of injuries most likely has to do with the fact that players are choosing shoes that are not supportive enough to protect the foot’s normal structure.  Athletes are beginning to select soft bottom cleats because they are light and comfortable, and allow the players more freedom in movement.


The benefit of wearing sturdy athletic shoes is that they are able to keep your feet in proper alignment at all times.  Unfortunately, soft bottom cleats aren’t considered to be sturdy, and are made with flexibility in mind.  In this situation, the problem comes when you combine these soft bottom cleats with large men in the NFL.  Shoes are made generically, and while there may be plenty of support for a 140-pound athlete, the same pair of shoes on a 250-pound lineman is a completely different story.


There are more bones in your foot than there are in the rest of your body combined.  With 26 bones and more than 100 tendons and ligaments, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.  Injuries listed on the 2013 NFL IR list include turf toe, Lisfranc and metatarsal fractures, Achilles tendon ruptures or tears, plantar fasciitis, etc.  There is a very good chance that a portion of these could have been avoided if the player was wearing proper athletic shoes. 


Don’t let improper shoes take you away from doing the things you love.  Before beginning any new athletic activity, it is a good idea to make sure you have the right shoes for the activity, and for the level of support and protection you need.  Although diabetic shoes aren’t the first shoes you think of for athletics, it may be the best option for you. 


The physicians at Advanced Foot Care Centers are experts in dealing with diabetic shoes.  If you qualify, the shoes are not only the safest choice, but may also be covered by your insurance.  To determine your eligibility, schedule your appointment with me at our Fort Oglethorpe office by calling (706) 861 –6200. 


By: Ira Kraus

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