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D. If The Shoe Fits, Wear It

Narrator: This is Science Today. Knowing which type of shoe to wear during certain sports activities can help prevent foot and ankle injuries. But Dr. Keith Donatto, a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, says you first need to understand what type of foot you have.

Donatto: Different foot type will predispose you to certain types of injury and we usually try to classify feet as flat feet or not flat feet, flexible or rigid. And usually the combination of flat foot and flexibility goes together, whereas someone with a high arch usually has a more rigid foot.

Narrator: People with rigid feet tend to get more ankle sprains because there is less motion in the foot, whereas those who have flexibility tend to get sprains on the inside of the foot, near the arch.

Donatto: Essentially, patients who have flat feet or flexible feet need to have a sturdier shoe. They need to have something that has a fairly rigid sole and something that comes up to their ankle and supports their ankle. Patients who have a more rigid foot should have something that has more give in the sole and more give around the toes.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.