this is a really obvious topic, but one i’ve found to be quite beneficial. the right footwear makes a difference in pool.
i’ve had this bad habit of wearing sandals when playing pool. the weather’s often warm out here in socal, so sandals are a standard issue equipment with the locals here. since i developed the habit of wearing sandals, i’d wear them to play pool. not a good idea.
sandals don’t really have the support i needed for a firm footing. as a result, i had poor balance when i got into my stance. this then affected my aim, then the shot. it’s not until recently that i’ve been trying to correct this habit.
the best type of footwear that works for me is sneakers. unfortunately, not all sneakers provide the kind of support i’d need for pool. for example, converse all-stars are plentiful and popular, but they provide horrible footing. these are suited for short-session casual playing at best; you probably don’t want to wear all-stars while playing a serious match. running shoes, basketball shoes, cross trainers and tennis shoes generally work well. certain skater shoes provide good support also. typically, if the shoes are well-padded and support your ankles, they will probably work. those that feel spendy can get $300 jordans, but that’s probably excessive for pool.
there are many types of fashion sneakers out there that resemble the converse all-stars; always try them on before playing pool in them. many of the fashion sneakers provide bad padding and no support for your ankles, so be picky when you buy.
there are times when sneakers are not allowed during a match, such as big tournaments with dress codes. in that case, shop for the most comfortable dress shoes you can find and wear those. there are dress shoes out there that feel like well-padded sneakers or basketball shoes, so be patient and shop around. if your shoes make you feel like you’re standing on clouds, while your opponent has uncomfortable shoes, that can make a difference.
a second weapon against foot fatigue are after-market insoles or paddings. the brand i found to work best for the money is dr. scholl’s. (check their website for coupons.) i tried some cheap stuff before, but that actually gave me foot pain. (had to return them just after a day.) if you want the generic store brand or the cheap stuff, ask the manager about return policies; most insoles need to be cut to fit your shoes, which may make the merchandise unreturnable. for me, dr. scholl’s stuff works great for the money. they’re not the best, but they’re priced right and provide much comfort for me. with the right insoles, you can make your stiff dress shoes feel like velvety foam.
in women’s tournaments, a dress code often means dress shoes, which can mean high heels. i personally think that high heels provide a horrible platform to stand on. (high heels always reminds me of stilts.) i’d say that if the ladies can find flat heels, wear those. if you must wear high heels, get those specially made gel pads. you can even get gel pads for open heels, so take advantage of them. my female friends told me that the cheapy gel pads for the ball of foot from target work quite well. anyway, conduct some experiments and find out.
a quick mention of ugg boots: although comfy looking, they have bad foot & ankle support. not good pool shoes.
pool is hard enough. why handicap yourself and give your opponent an edge by wearing bad footwear? get some comfy kicks and treat your feet.
moi? i just got me some new insoles. most comfterbuls. 🙂