Bulls’ Star Joakim Noah Switching Sneakers to Cope with Heel Pain

The Chicago Bulls’ center, Joakim Noah, has become known for two things over the past few years: his Le Coq Sportif sneakeYou won't be seeing those roosters on Noah's feet anymorers, reminiscent of his tennis-star father’s kicks; and the crippling heel pain he has suffered as a result of his plantar fasciitis.

Of his last four seasons in the NBA, two of them have seen Noah sidelined by the condition, which is caused by small tears in the supportive tissue of the plantar fascia, running from the bottom of the heel to the base of the toes. Throughout all those painful missed games, Noah wore and endorsed Le Coq Sportif shoes, the iconic rooster-imaged brand that his dad Yannick Noah wore during his tennis stardom in the 1970s. It was, it seemed, a matter of family pride.

Just this week, however, Noah has announced that a major change is brewing: he’s said he’ll switch from his preferred brand of shoes to Adidas sneakers in order to stave off his recurring heel pain. While this sudden switch may seem surprising, as a Houston podiatrist I’m here to tell you there’s real logic behind his decision.

According to the  (AAPSM), the shoes you wear can make a big difference in the amount of discomfort you will feel while recovering from plantar fasciitis. The best choices are athletic shoes with a one-inch heel height, strong stability in the mid-foot and good flexibility in the forefoot. The AAPSM say that the best brands for people with heel pain are New Balance, Brooks, Mizuno, Asics and, Noah’s choice: Adidas running shoes.

Noah may be sad to say goodbye to his favorite shoes, but I believe it’s the smartest decision he could make. If you are experiencing heel pain like Noah, come see me at Tanglewood Foot Specialists so we can customize a treatment plan that will include every aspect of your lifestyle, right down to the shoes you wear.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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