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Shoe Selection

Selecting the proper shoes for your feet is an important part of injury prevention. We recommend you visit one of our stores and take the Gait Analysis test: this is the quickest, most accurate way to determine what sort of runner you are, and therefore what sort of shoe you need. Forces greater than three to five times your body weight are transferred through your joints every time you strike the ground when you run. Wearing the wrong shoes can impede performance and lead to injury.

Determining Your Foot Type

When you run, after your heel strikes the ground, your foot pronates by rolling inward and flattening out. Your foot then supinates after weight is transfered to the ball of your foot and the foot rotates outward. The foot then becomes a rigid lever so that you may propulse forward. Perfect running styles are rare. Overpronation is more common than oversupination.

The Overpronator

  • Feet roll inward too much when running.
  • Generally has low arches.
  • Knees and kneecaps move toward the inside of the feet when you bend halfway at the knees.
  • More susceptible to Runner's Knee, Iliotibal Band Syndrome, Tendinitis, Plantar Fasciitis.

The Oversupinator

  • Lacks normal inward rolling feet when running.
  • Usually has high arches.
  • Knees and kneecaps move toward the outside of the feet when you bend halfway at the knees.
  • More susceptible to ankle sprains, stress fractures, pain on the outside of the shin and knee, Plantar Fasciitis.

Shoe Requirements

The Overpronator

  • A stability or motion control shoe.
  • Maximum rearfoot stability.
  • Substantial medial and lateral support.
  • Firmest midsoles possible.

The Oversupinator

  • A wide, neutral mid-sole shoe.
  • Low or moderate rearfoot stability.
  • Soft midsoles.

A Neutral Gait

  • A semi-curved last.
  • Moderate pronation control.
  • External counters.
  • Durable midsole material.

Guidelines to Find the Best Fit

  • Try on both shoes with the same type of sock to be worn during activity.
  • Try on several different models to make a good comparison. Walk or jog around the store in the shoes.
  • Check the quality of the shoes. Look at the stitching, eyelets, gluing. Feel for bumps inside the shoe.
  • The sole should flex where your foot flexes. Look for shoes with removable insoles to accomodate orthotic devices.
  • Allow a half-inch between the end of the shoe and your longest toe when you stand up.
  • The heel counter should fit snugly so that there is no slipping at the heel.
  • Shoes should be comfortable on the day you buy them. Don't rely on a break-in period.
  • Consult the staff at running speciality stores for help in selecting the correct shoe.