What Athletes Need to Know About Socks, Shoes, and Orthotics

It really matters what you wrap around your feet every day, especially if you’re an athlete. Wearing the wrong type of sock, shoe, or orthotic device (also known as a shoe insert) can make the difference between pain-free feet on the field and a trip to Montgomery Foot Care Specialists to diagnose and fix a problem.


Socks are one of the most important pieces of exercise gear that an athlete can own. Don’t just buy any old sock – a good one will

  • have padding under the toes, ball, and heel and some padding on top as well
  • be made of moisture-wicking material
  • be stretchy around the ankles and not bunch up at the arch of your foot.


The shoe you should buy depends on two things:

  1. What activity you’re planning to do. Different kinds of athletic shoes exist for different sports. Wearing a tennis shoe to go running or a running shoe while doing P90X in your basement can eventually lead to unwanted wear and tear of your feet – and beyond.
  2. How your individual foot pronates. Pronation refers to the way your foot rolls in normal walking or running. Some people underpronate, meaning their foot tends to roll outward. Others overpronate, meaning they roll their foot inward beyond what’s normal. Or you may not have any issues with pronation at all.

So how do you know if you over- or underpronate? Bring your shoes in to our office, and our experienced podiatrists, Dr. Michael L. Rosenberg and Dr. Heidi M. Christie, will evaluate them for patterns of wear. They will do a full examination of your foot and the way you walk, then will recommend the best kind of athletic shoe for you. They’ll help you prepare for a trip to the store with the right vocabulary, teaching you to ask for stability shoes, or cushioning shoes, or motion-controlled shoes – whatever your individual foot needs.


Correcting a biomechanical problem such as under- or overpronation may require more than just a particular kind of athletic shoe. Dr. Rosenberg and Dr. Christie might also recommend orthotics to help with pronation issues, or other conditions such as flat arches, hammertoes, or heel pain. They are available at your local pharmacy or we can order them custom-made for your foot and your condition.

Visit us at our office in Montgomery for a full evaluation of your foot, along with expert advice about socks, shoes, and orthotics. We invite you to call us anytime at (334) 396-3668 or request an appointment online.