Lisa Bodratti, PT, DPT
Quick guide to choosing the right type of running shoe
As you probably know, there are MANY different brands, types and sizes of running shoes. So, how do you choose the right shoe for your foot? When it comes to your arches and running shoes, what you need to know is what is best for your particular foot. Here are some tips to make choosing the proper type of shoe for you a little bit easier:
What type of arch do you have?
First and foremost, you should know what type of arch you have. There are two primary types of arches:
- Pronation: pronation is a natural action of some of the structures of your foot to move inwards during your walking or running cycle. Pronation itself is not a bad thing – rather it is a necessary movement of the foot bones.
- Supination: supination is also a natural and necessary action of the foot, however rather than moving inwards, your foot structures move outward.
How do I know what type of arch I have?
There is an easy test that you can do in your own home to quickly find out what type of shoe you should try first. It’s called a “wet test”.
Take a piece of cardboard slightly larger than your foot and place it on the floor. Lightly wet the bottom of your foot. Place your foot on the cardboard and stand until the cardboard is wet with your foot print.
- A low arch correlates with with a stability or motion control type of shoe.
- A normal arch correlates with a neutral shoe.
- A high arch correlates with a cushioned shoe.
Types of shoe arches
Once you have determined the type of arch you have, how do you know which type of shoe will work for your arch? Here are the basic types of shoes that you will find compatible with your type of arch:
- Neutral: a neutral shoe is for those who do not over-pronate through their stride.
- Stability: a stability shoe is for those who do over-pronate through their stride.
- Motion control: a motion control shoe is for those who severely over-pronate through their stride.
- Cushioned: a cushioned shoe is for those who supinate through their stride.
Looking for more information? Doctors Andrew J Gaetano, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS and Evan J Marsh, PT, DPT can provide professional sports screening and injury prevention. Contact them at their Saratoga / Malta or Queensbury / Glens Falls PT clinics for more information.