If you are planning on taking up running on a regular basis you will need to determine which type of shoes will be best for your feet and running style. There are many different things that you should take into consideration before buying running shoes, including the distance you plan to run, the terrain, the weather, the shape of your feet and your running style. If it is casual sports shoes you are looking for then you might want to take a look at our guide here.
It is also important to consider any existing injuries or weaknesses when buying running shoes, such as bad knees, as these will definitely be affected by the type of running shoe that you buy. By talking to an expert you can work out whether you are looking for a running shoe with stability, recommended for runners who are mild to moderate over-pronators, performance shoes, recommended if you are taking up racing on a regular basis, neutral running shoes recommended for runners who need cushioning and support, or minimalist running shoes.
Running Shoes For Your Foot Type
There are three foot types flat foot, neutral foot, and high arches. If you aren’t sure which of these categories you fall into, then you need to do the wet foot test. You can do this when you step out of the shower or bath – walk across a floor where you can see your footprint and look at the shape of the footprint you leave behind.
The flat foot or the overpronator will give you a footprint that shows a full footprint with all or almost all of the sole of the foot touching the floor and leaving a very full footprint with no gap where the arches are. Generally you would strike the floor with your heel and then roll forward with the arch collapsing as you roll forwards. The foot tends to roll inwards as you push off from your big toe on the inside of the foot.
The neutral foot or the neutral pronator will have a footprint with a narrow – medium-sized covering where the arch hits the floor. You will strike the floor with your heel and the arch of the foot collapses inwards and touches the floor.
The high arch footprint will show practically no imprint where the arch should be and it is these runners who are most likely to suffer from supination of the feet. The feet don’t flex at all and provide very little shock absorption.
Running Shoes For Flat Feet
People with flat feet have little to no arch in their feet. This means that their feet are very flexible and are likely to over pronation, i.e. roll inward, when walking or running. The best type of shoes for flat-footed runners are ones that offer a high amount of stability, this will help them avoid over pronation and also control the range of motion of the foot.
Running Shoes For Neutral Feet
As a neutral pronator there isn’t a great need for additional support when it comes to buying running shoes. A shoe with very little additional support will allow the foot to fall naturally but should still provide cushioning where it feels comfortable for the runner.
Running Shoes For High Arches
High arches are the opposite of flat feet. They have well-defined arches, which cause their feet to be more rigid and causes these runners to supination, which is where they walk or run on the outside edge of their feet. High-arched runners should choose running shoes that are well cushioned and that have midsole flexibility. Neutral footed runners are right in the middle of the other two. Their feet are well structured which means that they are able to run in just about any type of shoe. Although most neutral runners will choose shoes that offer a small amount of stability.