The problem for most starting out is not being properly informed. Most new runners do not realize there is a proper running shoe for your body and foot type. First, know what type of foot you have before you go to the running store. It can make a huge difference whether you are wanting to go jogging 3 times a week, to walking or even running a marathon.
So how do you find out your foot type? Well, its actually quite simple. Get a fairly big piece of dark paper, soak your feet in water and then step on the paper. Look closely at your foot imprint. There are three distinct types of feet.
1) If the imprint of your feet covers most of the paper (no arch at all) then you have flat feet. There are approximately 60% of the population in North America with flat feet.
2) If you show the opposite, a wide arch in the middle and a narrow line on your outer foot, then you have a high arch. There are 30% of the population who has a high arch.
3) If your foot imprint has a medium arch then that is considered as the ideal foot, but only 10% of the population has it.
So regardless of what type of foot you have, there are numerous running shoes that give you the right fit. There are as many as 60% of the 35 million runners in America, that are injured from improper fitting running shoes.
So What Shoe Do You Buy? Some Guidelines:
2) If you happen to have high arches, you will need a very cushioned running shoe. High arched feet don’t absorb road shock well, so you will want that extra cushion to help absorb the shock.
3) For those with medium arches, you have a wide range depending on your body type and weight. Pick stability and cushioning for your feet.
When you first try on a running shoe, it should be feel snug but not tight, meaning there should be about 1/2-inch space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe, so do the pinch. The best time to try on shoes is mid to late afternoon as your feet are spread out the most. If the shoes are not comfortable in the store, then it won’t be when you are out on a run. So make sure you test them well while you’re there.
Keep in mind those running shoes you bought on sale or on the cheap may not be such a bargain after all, and may be a cause for concern in your long term running. So pick wisely to make your running experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Your feet and body will be grateful.
How To Choose The Right Running Shoe
There are no two people that have the exact same foot. But the manufactures who specialize in running and jogging shoes divide shoes into three distinct categories: Cushioning, Stability, and Motion Control. But within these 3 category types, there can be a lot of variation, but it’s an excellent guide to begin with.
Cushioning – Cushioned jogging shoes have little to no lateral support. These shoes are great for runners who do not really need this type of support, and have neutral feet. Generally this type of running shoe will be for runners with a high arch. This type of shoe is not ideal if you are a pronator or an over-pronator.
Stability – Stability running shoes are in the mid range category which offers a balance between both cushioning as well as motion control. This running shoe type is designed for runners with a medium or normal arch. If you land on the outside of your foot and then roll forward, this shoe is for you. If you are unsure, starting with this category is a good place to begin.
Motion Control – The motion control shoe are for runners who need good to excellent support in a running shoe. For extreme pronators (instep) or overpronators (outstep), requires a Motion control running shoe. Also designed for runners with weak ankles, and any other foot or body and joint problems that would benefit from a shoe with a lot of support and stability. For those who may have a little extra weight also benefit from this shoe.
Obviously these three categories have a lot of room for variation within them. This is only a quick guide for running shoe types. It’s recommended you visit a specialized running shoe store and have someone look at your feet and body type (big bone/small bone etc.), to give you a better idea of what category your feet best fit in. If you have serious foot complications such as extreme pronation, flat arches, visit a foot doctor first, as a standard running shoe may not be enough. You could require custom made orthotic soles, or simple leg strengthening exercises to get and keep you on your feet.