Is running or jogging part of your regular exercise program? These exercises have great health benefits including helping you handle stress, anxiety and depression and even preventing obesity, heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
Running is also an inexpensive workout – all you need is a good pair of running shoes! Over time, these have evolved and the types of shoes have really expanded because of continuing research and development. A novice runner may be baffled by the array of shoes available in a running specialty store.
Here are some quick tips from us at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle to help you select the right running shoe for your gait and foot type:
Assess Your Foot’s Arch
What type of arch do you have? This is important in determining which type of running shoe is best for you. You can find out by wetting your foot and then stepping on a flat surface that will show your foot print – like a sidewalk or a bathroom floor. Your arch is normal if you don’t see the inside part of your foot in its outline. Your arch is low, or you have flat feet, if you can see the full outline of your foot.
Make the Right Choice Based on Your Arch and Degree of Pronation
How your foot pronates, or rolls inward, when you walk or run is another important component in choosing the right running shoe:
- Individuals with higher arches may under-pronate – although some pronation inward is normal – so a neutral shoe with more flexibility and cushioning would be best.
- Those who have arches of a normal height who over-pronate – most runners are in this category – will benefit from a stability shoe that has mid-sole cushioning and a moderate arch support.
- If you have low arches or flat feet, or are a larger person, a motion control shoe will help because they are heavier and stiffer with more support for the inside of the foot.
Running Drop Is Another Running Shoe Variable
The difference in height between the heel and toe of a shoe is called the running shoe drop and largely determines how your foot hits the ground. More traditional shoes have a drop between 8-12 mm which encourages a heel strike. Barefoot or minimalist shoes have a much smaller drop of between 0-4mm that promotes a mid-foot or forefoot strike. However, minimalist running shoes also have a minimal amount of arch support. If you plan on moving from a more traditional shoe to a minimalist one, do it gradually. Try shorter runs first with your new minimalist shoes to avoid injury.
We Can Help Assess Your Foot and Gait To Determine Your Best Running Shoe
Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, board certified podiatrist has the right experience with foot and ankle conditions and injuries to quickly diagnose and treat any foot and ankle problem. Please come in to Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an examination – you can request an appointment via the website or call us at our Hudson office at 727 868-2128 or our Spring Hill office at 352 683-5799. Don’t derail your running program with the wrong running shoe – we can help!