Finding the best-fitting running shoe isn't always easy. You are going to spend lot of time in them, so you need to make sure the shoe fits properly from heel to toe. In addition to a comfortable ride, shoes can play a major role in keeping you running strong. Wrong type running shoes can result in acute knee pain, pain in feet or shins and injuries.
There are many types of running shoes available in the market however it is very important to choose the right shoes which are comfortable, provide adequate support to feet and don't cause any pain or injury.
As a result of the variety of foot shapes, pronation, stride and comfort level, shoe companies have developed models to accommodate all type of runners. In the selection process, be sure to align your foot type with the proper shoe category. Good walking shoes should be able to absorb shock and support the feet while walking. It is essential to know the shape of feet, stride and foot pronation before buying them.
Step 1: Find your foot arch typeFind out what Foot Arch Shape you have buy walking on a piece of paper or dry pavement when your feet is wet. There are three types of arches.
Foot arch types
Normal arch - Normal arch is when the sheet has a print of half of foot arch. This is a very common and the most ideal arch as the body is able to absorb shock easily. People with normal arch have neutral pronation so most of the shoes fit them.
Flat arch - Flat arch is when almost entire footprint is on the sheet of paper. People with flat arch need shoes that provide more stability and motion control.
High arch - High arch is when the sheet has an imprint of heel and front of the foot. Choose shoe with great sole shock absorbency to avoid any injury.
Step 2: Understand PronationPronation is the inward rolling of the foot from heel to toe while walking. It is important to understand the level of pronation of feet to choose the right pair of walking shoes. There are three levels of pronation are based on walking style and bone structure or the feet and leg.
Neutral pronation – A person walking with neutral pronation is able to strike the ground on the lateral side of the heel. This way the foot moves from heel to toe in a way that the body absorbs shock naturally. It is the best way to walk as it reduces chances of foot injury and pain. People with Neutral pronation can wear any walking shoes as they have flexible feet. However they don't need orthotics and motion control shoes.
Under-pronation – A person walking with under-pronation strikes the ground on the lateral side of the heel however transfers weight from the heel towards the lateral side of the foot. People with Under-pronation should wear shoes with sole (outer, mid and insole) designed with great shock absorbency.
Over-pronation – People walking with over-pronation push off primarily from the big toe and second toe resulting in the shock from the foot's impact spreading unevenly throughout the foot and the ankle. It can cause severe pain in knee, foot or shin. Wearing wrong shoes can even worsen the pain and cause injury as well.
Step 3: Find the Strike angleHow does your foot strike the ground? It is very important to know your strike angle to avoid any injury. There are three types on strike angle. Most of the runners fall under Mid-foot strikers.
Step 4: Find the right shoes based on above 3 resultsShop for right shoes based on your arch, pronation and strike angle. You can visit following retailer sites to find right shoes as well.