It’s game day, and that means it’s time for the tailgate. Are you ready for fun? For football? Or are you just thinking about the foot pain you’ll be feeling by the end of the day?
Maybe you just take it for granted. Or maybe you don’t even associate the tailgate itself with the pain you feel in your feet, knees, hips or back after the long day.
But let’s think about it a little more closely.
What Does The Tailgate Look Like For You?
Let’s take a look at the tailgate experience for the average host.
You wake up early and pack up the car, (or the truck for the full tailgate experience,) and you head to the parking lot outside the stadium.
Haul out the coolers. Set up the grill. Pitch the party tent. All on concrete, or possibly uneven ground.
People start showing up. You’re on your feet, greeting, mingling, making sure everyone has a good time. Maybe you play a game of catch with one of the younger tailgaters.
Nothing crazy, not like that group over there doing headstands on the keg. Nothing that should hurt, right?
But in a few hours, you’re sitting off the tailgate, or parked in a lawn chair, doing your best to keep your mind off the discomfort.
If you’re not engaging in high-impact activity, why do you feel bad?
Foot Pain & The Tailgate: Causes
There are a few reasons why your not-that-extreme tailgate could be causing you pain.
Poor Weight Distribution
If you’re on your feet all day in a parking lot, or even in the stadium on your way into the game, you’re doing a lot of standing on concrete.
If you’re not wearing supportive shoes that evenly and correctly distribute your weight, it can lead to pressure being placed on the wrong part of the foot… which can impact all manner of your lower extremities.
If your tailgate is on uneven ground, or if you’re running around tossing the football back and forth, you’ll need to worry about your alignment. As you’re moving, walking through your gait, there are a few different things your foot can do. (We’ve covered a lot of them in our post on choosing the best shoe for your foot type.)
If you overpronate, your foot can roll in and cause torque, which can affect the rest of your lower extremities and cause hip pain and back pain as well as hurt your foot. If your foot rolls outward, you could be placing a lot of force on the forefoot as well.
Poor Footwear Choices
If your shoes aren’t supportive, you run a much higher risk for foot fatigue and injury.
Let’s be real: most of us aren’t too concerned about our footwear choices for game day. We might pick something lightweight and easy, or possibly pick up an old pair of shoes that we don’t mind getting dirty.
If those shoes are worn down, or lack supportive elements in general, you can expect to feel some discomfort after a long day on your feet.
Use our guide in our post on the Anatomy Of A Shoe, and look for supportive elements in your game day shoe choices… such as a nice, wide outsole and a high contoured midsole to support the medial arch.
Shoe Inserts For Foot Pain
If you don’t want to wear boots or expensive running shoes to the tailgate, you can still add support to your footwear by using a shoe insole.
Don’t make the mistake of grabbing any old insole, especially one that’s gel-based, and thinking that it will contain the elements necessary to keep your feet pain free.
Look for the same elements of support that you’d look for in a shoe: a firm contour to help post up the medial arch, a heel cup to help keep your foot in position, and a metatarsal pad to help with weight distribution in the forefoot.
If you’re looking for shoe inserts for the tailgate, consider Orange Insoles. Orange Insoles make insoles that fit almost any type of shoe. Check out our inventory and find one in your size today!