5 features of recovery footwear

What to look for in post
sport / work recovery footwear

groove life
There is unlimited research and development into sport-specific footwear. Whether it is track and field, netball, cricket, football or even in the workplace, there will be a specific shoe to enhance performance and prevent injury.

But what about recovery footwear after sport, or after a long day at work?

We all know the feeling of wanting to get out of enclosed footwear and let your feet breathe. But walking barefoot on hard floors isn’t ideal, particularly when you’re experiencing aches and pains.

As the foot fatigues, the arch tends to flatten out and the ankle rolls in. You also have stressed ligaments, tired muscles, swelling and sensitivity in your feet. The plantar fascia is often stretched as the arch has elongated, and the Achilles can also be strained.
How painful!

So considering these factors, what are the requirements for the ideal after sport/ work footwear?

    1. Open footwear
    A scuff or thongs/flip flops allow the feet to breathe. A closed in shoe can be constrictive when the foot is swollen and sensitive after rigorous exercise. Minimal material around your foot also helps eliminate excessive sweat and the odours it causes.
    2. Ample support
    Orthotic thongs have proven to be popular as after sport footwear. Thongs or Scuffs with a moulded foot-bed can have a significant effect on foot pain, function and foot health.
    3. Soft Cushioning
    Stressed ligaments and tired muscles need good cushioning to recover. Whilst a corrective foot-bed is important to maintain structure, a soft top layer will help reduce sensitivity in your feet.
    4. Heel to toe drop
    Footwear with some elevation at the heel can ease pressure from the Achilles tendon. Most sport shoes will have between 4-12mm drop from heel to toe. Going from a structured sport shoe to barefoot while the foot is cooling can be a recipe for injury. The ideal recovery thong will have a similar heel-toe elevation.
    5. Plantar Fascia relief
    With so much stress underneath the foot, recovery footwear should avoid applying too much pressure on the plantar fascia. A plantar fascia groove carved into an orthotic foot-bed can provide the necessary support while reducing pressure underneath the foot.

groove tech
The Ascent Groove is a dual density orthotic thong that meets all requirements for recovery footwear. The firm base layer is engineered with a 12mm offset and a plantar fascia groove. The top layer is super soft for maximum comfort. The Groove sets a new benchmark in after sports footwear. www.ascentfootwear.com.au/groove

Finding the perfect fit

Finding the ‘perfect’ fit in a pair of shoes can be an elusive struggle for a variety of reasons. One major factor is that no pair of feet are exactly alike.

A study of over 2,000 pairs of feet was conducted to find out “Are all two feet the same?”. Upon analysing this data, it was confirmed that the majority of the population did not have the same sized feet. This internal study matched similar findings done internationally, not all two feet are the same length and width*.

IIfit2

With over 60% of the world’s population having different sizes between their left and right feet, the traditional method of selling shoes in pairs makes it virtually impossible to achieve that perfect fit.

So, what can a footwear manufacturer do to close the gap on this quest for a better fit?

Enter the Ascent IIFit service. The IIFit range of shoes can be sold as a traditional pair, a mismatched pair, or even as an individual shoe (either left or right). Unlike a traditional shoe box housing the pair of shoes, the IIFit shoe box splits in half making the customised fit readily available in store.

For example,
•A customer who has the same size left and right can purchase as a traditional pair.
•A customer who has different size feet can purchase a mismatched pair at no extra charge and with no waiting for a special order!
•A customer who only needs either the left or right shoe can purchase an individual shoe at half the cost of a traditional pair.

Selling shoes as an individual size left and right rather than traditional pair helps achieve a perfect fit without the expense of having to pay for custom made shoes, nor wait for a special order. The IIFit range can also greatly assist those people with extra needs from their footwear, Polio sufferers, Diabetics and Partial or Full Foot Amputees.

Ascent work closely with special interest groups; Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Amputee and Diabetes associations to make sure our footwear yields therapeutic benefits or aids in the management or prevention of various foot ailments. The IIFit service is proudly endorsed by The Australasian Podiatry Council.

*(The high incidence of Mismatched Feet in the Population. William A Rossi. The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society 1983 & The Futile Search for the Perfect Shoe Fit. William A Rossi. Journal of Testing and Evaluation1988).

For further information about Ascent Footwear and the IIFit range, visit: http://www.ascentfootwear.com.au/ii-fit