What to Avoid
Often, players opt to use running shoes during games. This is a dangerous choice since running shoes are specially designed for forward, straight movements as opposed to the sideways and backward motions required in squash.
Also, running shoes usually have sharp edges along their soles. If you suddenly change direction on the court, these edges can become hooked on the floor and result in an ankle injury. Yet another issue with running shoes is their thick sole which can lead to instability.
Respect the Floor
Another factor to be considerate of when choosing squash footwear is the unfinished floor on the court. To avoid marking up the light floors, shoes need to be non-marking. The best option is a shoe with a gum rubber sole and rounded edges, often referred to as a squash, volleyball, or indoor court shoes. It is also important to wear separate shoes to and from the court to avoid damaging the grip on your squash shoes.
Tips for Finding a Perfect Fit
When trying on squash shoes, consider the following tips in order to ensure a proper fit. The following information will help you find a comfortable shoe:
First, analyze your feet and determine their characteristics such as how wide or narrow they are. If your feet are wide at the toes but more narrow at the ankles, you will require a shoe that is specially designed to allow your toes to move without being tight and an ankle area that is still secure.
Wider ankles will need to steer clear of narrow shoes since they will limit movement and prohibit proper blood flow. Varying brands offer models to accommodate a range of foot shapes. Hi-Tec usually features a standard ankle width and a wider toe area. Both Nike and Adidas are generally more narrow. Asics and Head are more standard in both toe width and ankle width.
With squash shoes, it is important to get your exact size, not a size up. Too much extra room will cause slippage, blisters, and unwelcome movement. Ideally, squash shoes will be comfortably secure but not overly tight.
Aim to have roughly half a thumbnail between the top of your biggest toe and the inside of the shoe. Some of this space will be taken up by court socks. Initially, shoes should feel rather tight but then loosen up to the perfect fit after a few games.
In addition to choosing the correct size, be to sure tie laces comfortably but not too tight. If the laces are overly tight, this can cause foot swelling during games. To avoid making the laces too tight, arch your foot as you tie up your shoes.
Adequate cushioning is essential if you play squash frequently. Additional cushioning is also important with increased age or heavier players. Thick padding helps cushion the knees and hips from the frequent impacts that occur during games.
In general, the more often you play squash, the higher the quality of shoes you should consider purchasing. Playing more than three times each week justifies the need for a premium squash shoe. A top quality shoe will improve your game and help protect your body against injury during impacts caused by lunging and dodging.
If a squash shoe lacks proper padding, consider adding sports insoles to increase the level of cushioning. To ensure proper performance, it is important not to increase the padding too far beyond the original insoles.
It is common for insoles to feature a deep heel cup but this can cause heel slippage if the insole causes the foot to be higher than it should be. If you suffer from high arches or flat feet and shoes are causing pain in your back, feet, knees, hips, or ankles, consider seeking out specialized corrective insoles designed for sports.
For an increase in padding, comfort, and protection, it is possible to wear thicker socks with your squash shoes. However, be careful to avoid socks that are too thick as these can decrease your ability to properly sense and respond to the floor of the court.
Both Coolmax and Dri-Fit offer socks that help wick away moisture, prevent slipping, and decrease the risk of blisters. High-quality, well-designed sports socks with adequate arch support also help reduce fatigue in the foot and ankle area.