running shoes

Photo credit: 123RF / Edite Artmann

So, you’ve decided that you need to replace your running shoes. But how do you know what kind of running shoe to get? The type of shoe you select can be the difference between running in comfort or in pain.

4 Tips to Consider When Choosing Running Shoes

Follow these tips for selecting the right shoe for your foot and gait type.

  1. Don’t bargain shop for an inexpensive pair of shoes. You’ll regret it when you start to develop foot, knee or hip problems. You need the right shoe for you – not the cheapest!
  2. Don’t buy the latest fad running shoe. It probably won’t be the right shoe for you.
  3. Learn your gait cycle type. Pronation describes the movement of the foot from heel to toe through the foot strike. As you run, if your foot hits the ground on the outside of the heel, and you roll the weight of your foot up to the ball of your foot evenly across the front, then you’re running with proper or neutral pronation. This motion helps reduce the stress of impact on your foot. If your feet are out of alignment due to structural issues, you may be overpronating or supinating as a result. During overpronation, the outside of your heel strikes the ground first, then your foot and ankle rolls inward excessively. This movement doesn’t provide proper stabilization of your body. During supination (also called under pronation), the outside of your heel strikes the ground first, then your foot and ankle rolls outward too much. During this movement, you carry your weight along the outside edge of your feet.
  4. Have a certified professional measure your feet with a Brannock device to determine the arch height for both of your feet. Each foot can have a different arch height – normal, low/flat or high. If you have low or no arches, you have flat feet. People with fallen arches tend to overpronate when they run, leading to overuse injuries. If you have high arches, you’ll tend to supinate when you run. With high arches, you’ll experience more pain and injury in your ankles. Plus your legs will absorb most of the impact shock rather than your arches.

Four More Tips to Consider

  1. Determine the appropriate shoe type for your arch height and gait type. If you have normal arch with neutral stride, you should choose a stability running shoe that offers moderate pronation control. If you have low or flat arches and overpronate when you run, you should choose a motion-control running shoe. If you have high arches and supinate when you run, you should choose neutral cushioned running shoes.
  2. Determine the right shoe shape for your feet. Look at the bottom of the shoe to determine the shape. If you have a normal gait, you should choose a running shoe with a semi-curved shape. If you overpronate, you should choose a shoe with a straight shape. If you supinate, you should choose a shoe with a curved shape.
  3. Ensure your running shoes fit properly. Refer to our Shoe Fitting Guide at the WalkEzStore. This guide will provide you with more information on foot measurements, shoe sizing, and how to obtain a proper shoe fit.
  4. Consider a custom orthotic, like the ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics, if you overpronate or supinate as you run or if you suffer from foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, heel or arch pain. Since these insoles are made specifically for your individual feet, they’ll align your feet into the proper biomechanical position they need as you run. Since your feet will maintain their proper position, you’ll run more efficiently. Plus you’ll have less pain in the joints of your feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back since your body won’t have to compensate for poor positioning and decreased stability. For more information on ezWalker Performance Insoles, visit our website. Click here to order a pair today, so you’ll have maximum comfort when you run.

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.