First time getting a brand new badminton shoe, but the choices available in the shop are just too much? Here are a few things to take note of when buying a new shoe. We all know that it is hard to make proper decisions sometimes. But with proper guidance, it will be a lot easier.
The shoe must be non-marking
What is non-marking? Why should I care? Maybe you would think, it makes no difference. Sports shoes are what they are. But NO, they are very different sole in fact.
Non-Marking sole means that it will not leave marks on the surface which is necessary when you are playing on a wooden or synthetic court. Most of the matches in badminton are played on these courts and if you are using any normal shoe it will damage that surface by leaving so before buying a new shoe check it is a non-marking shoe. It is pretty simple to find whether a shoe is non-marking or not, most of the manufacturers print on their sole that it is a non-marking shoe. One very common characteristic of non-marking shoes is that the sole is made of silicon (orange-brown in colour) instead of rubber (can be dyed into any colour).
Cushioning and shock absorbance
If you look inside of a badminton shoe, you will find it quite different from the sneaker you got in your shoe rack. The fabric layering inside is much thicker so does the sole, giving it a generally thick and bulky appearance. The fabric layer inside must be thicker and more spongy to prevent you from getting blisters or injuries due to friction as you will be moving rapidly over the court. And the cushions hidden which gave the bulky appearance is to protect your knee. In Badminton, you will be jumping and lunging a lot and it becomes necessary that your shoe should provide some cushion while landing your feet on the ground.
Different companies in the market advertise their cushions by various name
Yonex: Power Cushion
Mizuno: Wave technology
But there is a catch. As badminton is a sport that requires high agility, a too bulky cushion will actually do more harm than helping you. If the cushion is too thick like those found in good running shoes, it increases the chance of getting you an ankle twist.
If you observe a badminton shoe properly, you will notice that the quarter part of the shoe is harder than most of the non-badminton shoes, it feels more rigid and solid. The area highlighted in the picture is called a quarter of a shoe and it should be solid because here your heel and bone join the footrest so it must be sturdy to prevent ankle twisting.
Flexibility of the shoe
There are two types of flexibility you need to take note of while buying a shoe
Twisting flexibility refers to the previous point we’ve talked about. It must be minimal to prevent injuries. While vertical flexibility is the total opposite.
Notice how much the shoe bend as shown above. It is very important as it refers to the tendency of your shoe to bend from the toe box which is necessary because in badminton a lot of bending of the toe is needed and if your toe box material is not flexible then it would be quite a painful badminton experience for you.
This goes the same for every kind of shoe, not just badminton. No one likes to have their feet wrapped in a plastic bag. The shoe must be breathable. Badminton is a very physical sport and Singapore is very hot, it becomes a necessity to have a shoe that allows air to pass through the material. One benefit of using a breathable shoe is that your shoe will not become smelly.
So now the question is how to know if a shoe is breathable? There are a couple of things which you can look for to know how much a shoe is breathable.
Look at the upper material of the shoe whether it has small pores in it or is there any space through which air can pass
Look whether the collar of the shoe (mouth of shoe ) is made of fabric that does not absorb water