Exercising with the wrong shoes can cause an increase of stress and pounding on the bones and joints of the feet that radiate up the leg to the knees, hip, and lower back.

It is critically important to wear the correct athletic shoes for each type of sport.

Basketball shoes will protect the feet and ankle in the side to side motion of that sport.

Running shoes cushion and stabilize the foot from repeated pounding on a track.

Never allow a child to use hand-me-down shoes. Always make sure shoes are wen-constructed and support the foot adequately.

Have them professionally fitted.

With cleated shoes, limit the wearing time only to the playing field. These shoes are not supportive and cleats may cause increased pressure on the heels and arches of the feet.

Evaluate each activity for your child’s ability level and don’t push beyond that limit.

If your child is overweight, work with them to help them on a healthy diet with all the nutritional requirements. These extra pounds create undue stress on their feet and the attached joints. Remember the word “moderation” and they will enjoy their respective activities.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a sports podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathon & has a practice in Darien; affiliated with Stamford Hospital and member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle. For info visit his Web site at www.stamford

healthmedicalgroup.org, and find a Physician-Dr. Robert F. Weiss