How to Select the Perfect Running Shoes

The perfect running shoe

How to Select the Perfect Running Shoes

Finding the right running shoes can be a difficult task, especially if you do not know what to look for. There are many different running shoes that are available and each type uses different technology. 

It is also important to know that shoes are designed for different foot types. When it comes to choosing the best running shoe for every foot type, the only answer that you need to know is that you need to find running shoes that feel most comfortable when you wear them. 

To help you find the best running shoes for every type of foot, this post shares 6 steps that will prove useful.

1. Understand Pronation
determine your foot arch type

The first thing that you need to do is understand what exactly pronation is. In the simplest of words, it is the rolling of the foot from the toe to the heel through the foot strike. Initially, a neutral or proper foot strike pattern moves up to the ball as it strikes with the outside of the heel to ensure that the foot moves evenly. 

It helps reduce the stress of impact on the foot. When a person rolls too much to the inside of their foot while in the foot strike cycle, the position is known as over-pronation. It usually occurs when a person has a flat foot or low arch. 

On the other hand, under-pronation is referred to a situation where the foot rolls too much towards the outside. It happens when someone has a high arch.   

2. Determine Foot Type

Determine Foot Type

Next, you have to determine your exact foot type. The easiest way to check the arch height is by conducting the “wet test”. To take the test, all you have to do is wet both of your feet and stand still on a paper bag for around ten seconds.

Then, get off from the paper bag and take a closer look at the imprint of the foot. The following observations will help you determine your foot type.

  • If there is a distinct curve towards the inside of the foot and the area where the heel and toe connect, you have a normal arch.
  • In case the imprint reveals most of the foot and there is no curve towards the inside of the foot, you have a low arch.
  • Finally, if there is a noticeable curve towards the inside of the foot and there is a high band that connects the heel and toe, you have a high arch. Anyone who has a high arch will be unable to see anything connecting the heel and toe.
3. Determine the Gait
determine foot gait parameters

Once you know your arch height, you should have no trouble determining your gait. It is simply a fancy way to describe how your feet behave while running. 

To choose the perfect running shoes, you have to determine your gait carefully. It will enable you to select the most comfortable shoes. There are four gait types which are mentioned below.

  • Severe Over-Pronation: It is where the heel strikes towards the ground first. Then, it excessively inwards. If a person over-pronates, their ankle would be unable to properly stabilize the body. It happens when someone has a severely low arch or flat foot. Motion control shoes are perfect for such individuals.
  • Mild Over-Pronation: It is where first the outside of the heel strikes. Then, the foot rolls slightly inwards while absorbing the shock. People with a low to medium arch tend to experience this and should opt for stability shoes.
  • Neutral: Anyone with a neutral gait would experience the middle part of the heel strike first. Then, their foot would roll slightly inwards and absorb the shock. Such an individual would have a medium arch foot and shoed get a neutral runner for its neutral cushioning shoe.
  • Under-Pronation: When someone experiences under-pronation, it where the outside of the heel would strike the ground first rather than rolling inwards. It is seen in individuals with a higher arched foot. Neutral cushioning shoes should be the right fit for them.

4. Select the Right Running Shoes

Since you have reached this step, you know about your gait and arch type. Now, you can go find the right shoe based on your needs. To determine the type of shoes you are looking, consider their shape. The different types of shoes are mentioned below.

  • Motion Control Shoes: The shoes are designed on a straight last. This is why you will need to look at the bottom of the shoes. If the shoes have a wide, straight shape, they are motion control shows.
  • The shoes are a perfect fit people with over-pronate or flat foot. They will ensure that your heels do not roll in too far and provide you with maximum support.
  • Stability Shoes: These shoes have a semi-curved shape. Anyone with a normal arch and who pronate slightly should opt for stability shoes as they provide a good balance between support and cushioning.
  • Neutral Cushioning Shoes: These shoes have the most curved shape. Anyone with supinate and high arched feet should opt for them as the neutral cushion absorbs the impact made by the feet which is not naturally absorbed.

In addition to inspecting the shape of the shoes, you can also check to see if the shoes have dual density foam. You will find it by checking the inside of the shoes. 

If there is a speckled foam or darker color, there is dense foam inside for supporting the arch. On the other hand, if there is no dense foam inside, it is simply a neutral cushion shoe.  

5. Head to the Local Running Shoes Store

Now that you have reached this step, you can head to the local running shoes store. The following tips will make the trip a whole lot easier.

  • Bring your old shoes along to help the salesperson find the perfect shoes for you.
  • Buy the right type of socks for running. They make a huge difference.
  • Avoid looking for the best shoes or the latest ones. Instead, find shoes that best fit you.
  • Get the salesperson to measure both of your feet. Generally, one foot tends to slighter bigger than the other. The last thing you want is to lose your toenails while you go for a run.

6. Try on the Shoes to See If They Perfectly Fit You

Finally, it is about time that you tried out the shoes. Different companies make use of different technologies for achieving this. Therefore, it is crucial that you try on different pair of shoes to compare how they feel. Look for the following things when trying on shoes.

  • Make sure that there is enough room for your toenails.
  • Similar to the above, you also need to ensure that there is sufficient room in the width.
  • Do a few laps or run on the treadmill to determine if the shoes are the right fit or they slip in the heels.

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