I loathe cleats. Yes, I do. They are the most ill-manufactured, jumbles of plastic and leather, non-supportive, expensive sets of fashion-driven garbage I have ever spent money on for my kids.
I mean every word of that. As a physical therapist and a mom, I see and hear the injuries that our kids and teens accumulate during sports which in a lot of cases, hinges on horribly made footwear. We may as well be throwing our money literally “AT” our children because we are certainly not investing anything in them when we buy these shoes.
Foot Health is Critical
Think of your foot as the last thing between you and the earth, floor or surface you walk on. It provides shock absorption and a base of support for everything: the ankle, knee, hip, back, spine, shoulders and head. When this appendage is ignored, abused or poorly attended to, a whole sequelae can occur including the following and MANY other conditions related to overuse and biomechanical failure: Osgood-Schlatters, patellofemoral knee pain, IT band syndrome, low back pain, muscle strain, just to name a few.
For my kids, I at the very least get a half decent orthotic to give them something to hold and support their poor feet as they pound the ground and take off running and jumping. It is the least we can all do to help them use their developing joints in the best way possible. We all have genetics that predispose us to some conditions. However, if we maintain good body mechanics from our feet on up, we will give our kids and ourselves, a better chance at preventing some of the injuries associated with cleat related sports.
Orthotic Inserts May Help
The inserts you may want to try out are made by Powerstep for older kids and adults: https://amzn.to/2Q0WXtyand for children under 12: https://amzn.to/2Kc6bxE. I would recommend buying 1/2 size smaller than your shoe size so you can fit it in comfortably; be sure to remove the insole that the shoe originally comes with to make room and loosen your laces.
I have sought high and low for medical professionals that work with the feet. Here in my area is Colaizzi Pedorthic who hand craft the best individualized arch supports in Pittsburgh. I have seen the others, but there is no one better. I have been wearing them for over 6 years. It is a worthwhile investment to look into custom orthotics if your child is very involved with sports. A biomechanically well-supported child is one with fewer aches and pains. That’s worth the investment.
Arch supports may not help everyone. Seek the advice of your choice of health provider with knowledge of feet: physical therapists, podiatrists, orthopedic specialists.