Footwear 101

In this section, we'll break down the basic styles of running shoes and the individual foot types each is designed for.

You've got Flat Feet:  Well, there's a pretty good chance that your feet overpronate, or roll to the inside as you run/walk.  The lack of arch causes the ankles to roll in and can create shin splints, knee injuries, and a host of other pronation born injuries.  Although this is most common in flat footed runners, it's also seen in low to mid arches, where the arch collapses severely at foot strike.

To compensate for overpronation, a shoe with the label 'motion control'' would be your best option.  This style of shoes is 'beefed' up on the inside, near where your arch should be and provides support and cushion to the inside of the foot.  This cushion and support helps provide a make shift arch and helps reduce injury.

A few Motion Control brands/styles to look for:

  • Brooks -Beast or Addiction
  • Asics -Evolution or Foundation
  • New Balance -940 or 1040
  • Mizuno -Renegade or Alchemy
  • Saucony -Stabil
  • Nike -Nucleus

You've got an arch, but not much of one:  More often than not, your arch will collapse on foot strike or as your foward foot cycles thru to push off with.  This slight collapse of the arch is commonly referred to as pronation, or rolling of your ankle to the inside.  Although is sounds similar to 'motion control', it's much less severe and can commonly be solved with a 'stability' shoe. 

A stability shoe has a medial post built-in near the arch to offer extra support for the collapsing arch.  The support is much less than a 'motion control' shoe.

A few Moderate Stability brands/styles to look for:

  • Asics -Kayano or 2160 series
  • Mizuno -Inspire or Nirvana
  • Nike -Structure Triax or Equalon
  • Saucony -Hurricane or Omni
  • Brooks -Trance or Adrenaline
  • New Balance -860 or 1260
  • Adidas -Sequence or Adistar Salvation

You've got a medium to high arch:  Then there's a good chance, especially if your arch is high, that it does not collapse during foot strike.  This type of runner/walker with a strong high arch is referred to as neutral -your arch does not collapse during your running/walking stride.  Unlike the stress going to the inside of your foot, like the two runners above, the stress from your foot strike will either be well centered on your foot, or more often than not, to the outside edges.  For this, you'll need a shoe with little to no support and plenty of cushion.  Often referred to as supination, you'll need a 'neutral 'shoe.

A few Neutral brands/styles to look for:

  • Asics -Cumulus or Nimbus
  • New Balance -880 or 1080
  • Brooks -Glycerin or Defiance
  • Mizuno -Creation or Rider
  • Saucony -Triumph or Ride
  • Adidas -Adistar Ride or Supernova Glide
  • Nike -Vomero or Pegasus

The best way to determine your foot type is to have our experts help find the right solution for you. 

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