Well how about that? I just found out that I’ve been using the wrong type of shoe for the past four months I’ve been running. I just had my running gait analyzed at the Runnr shop at Bonifacio High Street yesterday and the shoe guru there explained to me the type of running shoe that my feet needs.
Wearing the wrong type of shoe for prolonged running can lead to shin splints, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and other foot/ankle/knee-related injuries.
According to my gait ,which is over-pronation, wearing my current shoe when running will lead to what they call runner’s knee. Luckily, I haven’t started long-distance running yet.
There’s more to buying a pair of running shoe than just style and comfort.
Uhh pronation what??
Before you find out what running shoe you need, you must know what type of running gait you have, whether you over-pronate, supinate (under-pronate) or simply have normal pronation.
Pronation refers to the inward roll of the foot during normal motion and occurs as the outer edge of the heel strikes the ground and the foot rolls inward and flattens out. You can’t do anything about your pronation because it is dependent on the physiology of your feet.
What you can do is support your pronation with the correct shoe so that your gait is angled correctly to avoid injuries. I found out that my gait is a few angles off a normal one.
If you’re serious about running, have your gait analyzed at Runnr or Second Wind. You will be asked to run for a few seconds on their treadmill so they can record and explain to you your running style. It’s free and the staff are quite knowledgeable and will give you tips on how to improve and what type of shoes you need.
Alternatively, know your foot arch
If you don’t have the time to have your gait analyzed, another quick way to know the type of running shoe you need is based on the arch of your feet. It’s either you are flat-footed to low arch, normal arch or high arch.
To find your foot arch type, what you can do is wet the sole of your feet, step on a dry surface and compare the imprint you left to this:
Based on your arch, you can then find out what type of pronation your feet is doing and know what type of running shoe to support it.
Types of running shoes
Now you know your gait or how your feet pronates, it’s time to find which type of shoe that provides the right support for you.
There are basically three types of running shoes:
- Neutral. For people with high arch feet or what you call neutral runners whose feet do not pronate effectively. This type of shoe has a softer midsole and more flexibility that will provide the extra shock absorption that the lack of pronation is missing. (Men’s | Women’s)
- Stability. For people with normal or medium arch or for those who are light but with flat or low arch. If you have mild to moderate over pronation, this is the shoe for you. These shoes have some medial support and good midsole cushioning. (Men’s | Women’s)
- Motion Control. For low to flat-footed people that tends to over pronate severely. These shoes have extra support devices on the medial side to slow excessive pronation and tend to have wider and flatter outsoles. (Men’s | Women’s)
So if you’re going to buy a new pair of running shoes, don’t just look at the style and what’s the latest. You should buy the type of shoe that your feet needs. Most stores selling running shoes now have labels on what type of shoe is being displayed.