There are perfect running shoes for everyone. But before you find them, you need to understand your feet. According to your running style or arch, you need to know your foot type and what shoe offers you the greatest support.
During a run, you always land on the outside of your feet and roll inwards. This inward rolling is known as pronation and is a huge determinant of the type of athletic shoe you should purchase. Below is a detailed explanation of foot types and pronation, how to determine your foot type and the right running shoe for your foot type.
Foot Types and Pronation
Foot types include neutral arch, low arch and high arch. Your foot arch can either display neutral pronation, overpronation or underpronation, also called supination. The height of your arch determines the direction and impact of your pronation, which is the typical motion of your foot as you run and walk. Below is a breakdown of the three foot types and how they pronate or roll.
• A neutral arch usually causes the foot to pronate to a healthy spot.
• A low arch makes the foot roll excessively inwards or overpronate. This type of pronation is common among flat-footed people.
• A high arch causes the foot to roll outwards from the ankle. Underpronation or supination puts pressure on the outer toes.
A little rolling is vital for absorbing shocks upon impact, but overpronation and underpronation can be problematic due to the high risk of injuries.
Determining Your Foot Type
There are several ways to know your foot type:
By Checking the Bottom of Your Running Shoes
The wear of your shoes indicates your foot type. Worn-down inner soles show a low arch, while excessive wear on the outer soles means that you have a high arch. An even wear means you have a neutral arch and normal pronation.
The Wet Test
Wet the bottom of your foot and step on a blank piece of paper. An entire footprint indicates a low arch. If you can only spot your heel, the ball of your foot and toes, you have a high arch. You have the classic footprint or a neutral arch if you can see the heel, ball, and half of the arch.
Assessment by a Professional
The most accurate method is visiting a professional at a store to check you using the latest technology.
Three Types of Running Shoes According to Foot Type
After determining your foot type, it is time to pick the right shoe. Running shoes come in three categories, which most brands may not label on the box. Be sure to enquire from a salesperson or research online. Besides, most of the well-known brands have this information on their sites.
Stability Shoes for Normal arches
Stability shoes are perfect for people with minimal control issues. They offer extra balance from the additional arch-side supports and high-density foam. You are guaranteed firmness at the back of the foot and flexibility at the front part of the foot.
Motion Control Shoes for Low Arches
These shoes are the best for flat-footed runners with overpronation issues. They have a straighter shape and very firm insoles to help control excess pronation. The arch area on motion control shoes has either fibreglass, plastic or high-density foam for improved stability. The midsole area comes in a different colour.
Cushioning Shoes for High Arches
These shoes offer excellent support for people with stiff feet and high arches. They are incredibly flexible and are built on a curve. Besides, they are made from lightweight materials that offer slight rigidity with maximum cushioning. These shoes absorb shock and help to control the feet from rolling outwards when running.
After finding the perfect athletic shoe for your foot type, here are some tips for a good fit:
• Shop after work when your feet are likely to be at their largest as when on a run
• Wear the socks, braces or orthotics you run in
• Be flexible with the shoe size; different brands have different fittings
• Go for a heel that fits perfectly to avoid blisters when running
• Jog in place and run around the store to see if you feel comfortable
• Consider the width of the shoe besides the length to ensure the shoe is not tight
• Ensure your toes are not crowded to allow for wiggle space
Perfect running shoes are an asset, and you should find a store with skilled salespeople to help you choose a good pair. If you are looking for good athletic shoes online, check out Brooks running shoes. They offer you the stability, cushioning and control you need to run safely and improve your performance. Lastly, always replace your shoes after every 400 to 600 miles to avoid injuries from worn-out soles.