Allen's health maintained by changes in footwear


Ray Allen is a creature of discipline and routine. So when he changes something he has been doing for years, he doesnt do it without looking for an improvement. Even down to his shoes.

Allen entered the NBA in 1996 wearing a size 13 sneaker. As time went on, he went up to a 14. Just two years ago, he made another jump that has helped his performance and his health.

My feet were always hurting, he told I was at shootaround in Detroit two years ago, I was running through it, and when I got back to the bus, it was just like the shoes, my orthoticsI called over to Nike and said, The next shoe allotment, send it to me in 15s. Ive been a 15 ever since.

Allen battled a series of ankle injuries, including double ankle surgery prior to be traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007, making his choices in footwear an important decision. In January he missed three games with a jammed left ankle.

Down in my ankles, I need that blood to flow, he explained. Sometimes if the shoes too tight, you just feel pressure on your feet.

Allen, 36, is currently in his 16th season and isnt slowing down. Last year he became the leagues all-time leading three-point shooter. This season he is shooting a career-high 45.9 percent from long range, significantly greater than his career average of 40.0 percent.

He is doing so more comfortably in his size 15 Nikes and a pair of orthotics.

It just doesnt restrict my feet as much, he said. My feet can breathe.

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