New warning on footwear

Sunderland student, Michael Briggs with the plimsolls that have no foot support.

Sunderland student, Michael Briggs with the plimsolls that have no foot support.

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A CHIROPODIST has warned of the dangers of wearing plimsolls too often after seeing a rise in the number of foot and leg injuries.

Paul Savage, who has a practice in Western Hill, Sunderland, says the popular shoes that many young people wear can lead to injury if they are overused.

He said: “There are definitely more young people with leg problems because they wear plimsolls all the time.

“They offer no support at all and put strain on the Achilles tendon, which can affect the whole shape of the foot.”

The canvas shoes – which have become popular in recent years – can be bought for under £10 and are a cheaper alternative to trainers or shoes for many young people.

But, experts say, a lack of support on the foot can lead to quite serious problems.

Paul said: “Misshapen feet can cause all sorts of problems right up the leg, with the knees and even in the lower back. I would advise that they should be worn in moderation.

“People need support on their feet, especially in their formative years.”

Sunderland University student Michael Briggs, 22, is a keen long jumper and has suffered a number of bad injuries because he used to wear plimsolls a lot.

He said: “I used to wear them every day and my feet ended up flat. I am an athlete and I was very fit, but when I went to sprint I would constantly tear muscles.

“I tore my quadriceps and both of my hamstrings, which kept me out of training and is very painful.”

Michael competes to a high standard and has only recently regained his best form.

He said: “I never wear them anymore. I always wear trainers or something with some support.

“I would get angry because I thought I was doing my warm-up wrong, but all of the muscles in my legs were being affected by my feet.”

Paul said he would recommend wearing shoes with a very small heel, or something with an in-sole to prevent the injuries which have become commonplace.