The right running shoe is essential to your exercise regimen and your general well-being. Running puts a lot of stress on your feet and joints! Think about your heels, ankles, and the soles of your feet as you browse through your options. Read on for Tyler’s crash course on how to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type.
What’s Your Type?
Try this quick test: get both of your feet wet and stand on a paper bag for about 10 seconds. Now, look at the footprints to see what your arches look like on the paper bag.
A normal arch has a distinct curve along the inside of the foot. At its narrowest point, that print should be a little less than half of the total width of your foot.
Low arches cause flat feet. If you don’t see a distinct curve to the inside of your footprint, you may need more arch support in your running shoes.
If that curve is noticeable and there isn’t much connecting your heel to your toe, you’ve got high arches. Shop accordingly; you don’t need extra arch support!
What’s Your Gait?
Now, let’s talk about the pronation of your feet. Pronation is a fancy way of describing the way your ankle rolls when you run. When your foot hits the ground, where do you feel the impact?
Overpronation puts extra stress on your ankles as they roll. When shopping for women’s or men’s athletic sneakers, look for extra arch and ankle support to keep them steady.
With a neutral gait, the middle-to-outside part of the heel strikes the ground first and rolls slightly inward at the ball and toe of the foot. A neutral gait needs only neutral cushioning in the soles.
Underpronation (or supination) occurs in many people with high arches. The foot doesn’t roll inward; the strike’s impact stays on the outside of the foot. Avoid shin splints and extra impact on your joints by choosing a neutrally cushioned shoe.
What’s Your Style?
There are three main shoe styles that address various foot concerns.
First, we’ve got motion control shoes. These are great for folks with low arches and overpronation; they offer extra support to the ankle. They’re a little more rigid than other running shoes and have stronger arch support.
Cushioning shoes are best for underpronated feet and high arches. They’re flexible, lightweight, and engineered on a curve to encourage a healthy range of motion.
Finally, stability shoes are a go-to for neutral gaits and arches. They offer gentle side-arch support and just the right amount of cushioning.
When shopping for women’s or men’s athletic sneakers, remember how to choose the best running shoe for your foot type. Your feet deserve the perfect fit!