Usually, there is no need to buy expensive sport-specific footwear. When competing in casual athletic activities with family or friends a simple comfortable pair of tennis shoes will allow you to enjoy your game. However, wearing the proper sport-specific footwear for the activity will give you a competitive edge while playing with friends. The correct footwear will also have its advantages while training as the feel of the shoe will become more natural.
The proper sports footwear for playing on natural or imitation pitch, excluding Astroturf, is a shoe with embedded rubber or metal cleats. The cleats, on the bottom of the shoe, dig into the surface of the field and provide excellent traction and agility even during the rain. Cleats can differ between sports as well. Football (both American style and traditional), golf, field hockey, all use a different pattern in cleat placement.
Similar to cleats track spikes, which are worn by both sprinters and distance track runners, give an advantage in griping the track surface. Like other sport-specific footwear, track spikes differ between disciplines. Sprinters shoes have very little padding on the heel as sprinters run on their toes throughout the entire race. For that reason, all of the spikes are located towards the front of the shoe. Distance runners enjoy a more padded shoe with a slightly more spread out spike pattern.
Skateboarding also has footwear specific to that sport, even though it is a fairly modern sport compared to most. The typical footwear (often referred to as "skate shoes") worn in this sport consists of a flat, rubber sole and a suede material for the exterior of the shoe. High end, manufacturers of skate shoes typically incorporate designs and materials to prevent heel injuries and to give the skater better feel of the board. Because of the popularity of the sport, many non-skaters choose to wear footwear resembling skate shoes if not actual skate shoes.
There is also a shoe specifically designed for bowling. The primary purpose of a bowling shoe is to not damage the lane, which must be maintained so the ball behaves in a typical manner. Consisting of a hard rubber sole bowling shoes are often rented at bowling allies.
It is very important that when you use athletic facilities you make sure your shoe is permitted by facility management. For example, most track owners have purchase warranties on the track surface which mandate the maximum length of a track spike. Using a longer spike will both void the warranty and damage the track surface. Bowling is another sport where improper footwear can cause damage to the playing field or physical harm to the individual. Lane surfaces are maintained to be exceptionally slippery, wearing the wrong shoe could cause you to fall or could dry out the lane surface, causing erratic ball behavior or possibly damaging the wood base.
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