The purpose of this paper is to assist the practitioner in understanding the various advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of athletic footwear. In addition, the various components of a typical athletic shoe are described including the upper, the midsole/outsole, the last, as well as the lasting process. Since the various models of athletic shoes that are available to the consumer can change in a very rapid and unpredictable manner, it is extremely difficult for the clinician to maintain a database of current shoe models and features. This paper stresses the importance of the clinician providing the athlete a list of footwear features and components based on their particular foot classification or problem, rather than attempting to recommend a specific model of athletic shoe. A detailed explanation of these features is provided to assist the practitioner in helping the athlete select the most appropriate shoe.
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