Choosing Your Running Shoe

For runners, choosing the right shoe may be one of the most important decisions you make. Not only can it mean a comfortable, painless run, but it also means preventing common conditions like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and Achilles tendinitis. Going to a shoe store can be overwhelming with all of the choices, so knowing the following information can be helpful to know before you head to the store.

  1. Know your foot type – Looking at an old pair of shoes can help you determine your foot type: neutral, over pronated, or supinated. You have overpronation if you see wear towards the inner edges, and supination if you see wear towards the outer edges. Many shoes are designed to compensate for specific foot types.
  2. Know what kind of running you’ll be doing – Running shoes are categorized into: road-running, cross-training, and trail-running.
  3. Know available shoe types
    • Neutral shoes – Ideal for people with neutral pronation or supination, neutral shoes have average shock absorption and side arch support.
    • Motion control shoes – These shoes with stiffer heels help those with overpronation.
    • Stability shoes – These shoes have extra support on either side of the arch to prevent excessive pronation.
    • Super cushioned shoes – These shoes have 50% more shock absorption to counter heel pain and plantar fasciitis.
  4. Know your gait – Knowing the mechanics of your specific foot can help you find a shoe that best fits your foot. Many stores have treadmills or areas where they can get a visual on your gait.

Other tips:

  • Get fitted towards the end of the day
  • Bring custom orthotics when you buy shoes
  • Make sure there is a thumb’s width of space between the biggest toe and the tip of the shoe

If you need help determining your foot type, gait, or want suggestions on choosing the right running shoe, you can ask our team of podiatrists at Your Next Step. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide compassionate foot and ankle care to those in the greater Philadelphia area. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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