ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Picking the right running shoes

Updated on March 7, 2007

Figure 1

Shoe Shopping Tip:

Shop for your running shoes in the afternoon.

Your feet tend to swell slightly throughout the day, and you don't want to end up buying shoes that are too small or too large. And be sure to wear athletic socks of the same thickness that you'll wear when you run.

Figure 2

First thing first, you need to learn about your feet

There are two ways you can learn about your feet. The first is to take the "wet test" to determine what kind of foot you have, such as high-arched as opposed to flat. The second is to look at the wear pattern on the souls of your shoes. Knowing something about what type of foot you have before you head to the running shoe store can at least steer you toward a range of models with the specific technology to address your potential problems.

Wet test: Tracking your footprints

To complete the "wet-test" simply wet the bottom of one foot and then step firmly onto a flat surface (tile or sand works). If you have a flat foot, you'll leave a fat, complete footprint. If your footprint appears almost severed in half vertically, so that virtually no print from your arch is visible, then you have a high arch. A so-called normal foot is somewhere in between: The footprint will show about half of the arch. Figure 1 shows some wet-prints.

Wear patterns and foot strike

By examining the wear patterns (the places on your shoes worn smooth by repetitive use) of your old shoes, you may get some clues about particular models that will fit you best. From looking at the bottom of your shoe you will be able to figure out your pronation (see figure 2). Pronation in itself is not a bad thing because it helps your feet and legs absorb shock. However, excessive pronation (rolling in too much) can cause increased injury risks. That's called overpronation, and the answer to it is finding a shoe with good motion-controlproperties. Runners with flat feet (and those with bowed legs) tend to be prime candidates for overpronation woes. A much less frequent problem is underpronation. Although they're a rare breed, underpronators tend to have an inflexible foot (and often a high arch, too), and when they land, their feet don't make much of a rolling-in motion. The result is a lot of pounding force. A runner that lands like a ton of bricks and underpronates definitely requires a shoe with plenty of cushioning to absorb the shock.

Next, learn about shoes

Most brands today offer a wide range of shoe types, so if you hear someone say "Nikes are better for high aches" or "New Balance are for flat footed people", this isn't true, it all depends on the style of shoe and most brands now make several styles. Words like "motion control" or "flexible" can tell you a lot about a shoe and shouldn't be over looked. As a sales representative to help you with any shoe language that you come across while shopping that you do not understand.

Finally, put it all together to find the right shoe for you

Once you know about your feet and able shoes, putting it all together is pretty simple:

For flat feet and overpronators- Look for the keywords "motion control" and "stability" when shopping for running shoes.

For high arched and underpronatings- Look for the keywords "flexible" or "cushioned" when shopping for running shoes.

For normal or medium feet- Choose from a wide variety of shoes including shoes made for normal feet, shoes made for slightly flatfooted feet, or shoes made for slightly high-arched feet. You don't want to get anything that mentions it has a lot of stability/motion control. You are also less likely to get injured, unless you pick a shoe that is counteracting your normal foot.

Some other things to consider:

If you are running primarily on grass, trails, or any surface that is slippery, you may want to consider getting trail shoes. These shoes usually have added traction, durability, and stability; these shoes will help you get through the mud and leaves and, somewhat, the water with less slipping and sliding. If you run trails a large portion of the time, you may want to consider trail running shoes. However, it's always a good idea to keep a regular pair of running shoes around for when you want to hit the roads.

If you are a competitive racer you may want to invest in a good pair of racing flats. These shoes are made to be fast and flexible, but do increase the risk of injury. These shoes should only be used DURING races, and to break them in.


Submit a Comment
New comments are not being accepted on this article at this time.

  • profile image

    Melissa 9 years ago

    This was very informative; thank you. I now know what my problem is; I am an underpronator with a high arch. It is exactly how you described, I feel like a lot of weight on feet and like I am walking on rocks. Thank you so much. I am looking at Asics and Saucony sneakers. Thank you again.


  • profile image

    Trail running guy 9 years ago

    The right shoe is so important. It took me a few pair to figure out what works best for me. Comfort doesn't always last after a few miles.

  • profile image

    K  8 years ago

    i wear a size 2 kids shoes. i can't seem to find a really good running shoes for me in kid sizes. is there a particular kid running shoes out there that is also comfortable & won't hurt my feet as i run?


  • profile image

    Sousan Ahmadi  7 years ago

    I am a underpronator and flat arched, and I wear a size 3 in kids, but can't seem to find the right running shoes.

  • profile image

    holabirdsports 7 years ago

    Nice post, You should also consider your running style or technique when selecting running shoes. Check out for latest collection.

  • profile image

    asics onitsuka tiger 6 years ago

    Asics Gel Kinsei 2 cartoon characters, though Asics Gel Kinsei 2 Men's Shoes not necessarily for children around the Asics Gel Kinsei 2 Sale world, and they even infiltrated Asics Gel Kinsei 2 Mens your sneakers! Asics Gel Lyte III Hello Kitty x Asics Gel-Lyte Speed proof Asics Gel Lyte III For Sale that your loved Hello Buy Asics Gel Lyte III Kitty and her friends everywhere. TAsics Gel Lyte III Limited Edition hey're everywhere.Hello Asics Gel Lyte III Black Kitty x Asics Gel-Lyte Speed feel to Onitsuka Tiger Mini Cooper Hello Kitty, but it's not just pink all Onitsuka Tiger Mini edition over the world, because you know Onitsuka Tiger Mini Clubman the shoes Hello Kitty in pink and Onitsuka Tiger Mini for sale blue to get.Asics logo on the side Onitsuka Tiger Mini limited edition of the pink and has a hint of Onitsuka Tiger Mini uk pink on the soles. This is offset by white lace Onitsuka Tiger Mini cooper edition and blue design on the sides of shoes. If you onitsuka tiger men's shoes think you do not have asics onitsuka tiger men's shoes enough pink on the shoes, asics tiger mexico 66 and then to look at the pink asics onitsuka tiger mexico 66 star on has yellow onitsuka tiger shoes developed a series of onitsuka tiger tokidoki shoes exclusively for Clubman design. onitsuka tiger mexico 66 yellow black Many design onitsuka tiger yellow black elements of the Clubman can onitsuka tiger kill bill be found in many This Cheap onitsuka tiger asics mexico 66 Shoes are loaded with technology onitsuka tiger sale for excellent motion onitsuka tiger lauta control.GEL onitsuka tiger mexico lauta Cushioning System onitsuka tiger mexico 66 lauta in the heel onitsuka tiger australia sale and forefoot absorbs pounding

Click to Rate This Article