How To Choose Right Running Shoe For Your Foot Type


How To Choose Right Running Shoe For Your Foot Type

Hello All!!

Are you an ace runner? If yes, you would probably know all about choosing the right running shoe for yourself. This post is for ‘want to be’ runners who don’t know how to zero in on a particular running shoe. You can also read a great post on choosing the right shoes for walking, running and cross-training here.

running shoe quote

There is no ‘best shoe for running’ concept. The type of shoe needed varies from person to person. The factors that come to play while choosing the right shoe are your body weight, your biomechanics, running surface and your feet shape. This means that a shoe suitable for one person may be uncomfortable for another person.

When we run, our feet bend slightly inwards to enable absorption of the shock forces our feet face while running. This bending inwards of the feet when in motion is called pronation. When this inward bending of the feet is excessive it is called over pronation. The outward bending of feet while running is called under pronation or supination. The picture below will explain better about foot archs and pronation.

Foot arch- right running shoes


How To Choose Right Running Shoe For Your Foot Type

Everybody has a different foot arch. To know what kind of foot you have, you have to take the ‘wet test’. Wet the soles of your feet with water and then step onto a brown paper bag or a plain sheet of paper. The foot print left behind on the paper will tell you about the kind of foot arch you have.

You can have either have a medium arch, a flat arch or a high arch.

Medium arch

This is the most common foot type. Having a medium arch means you have a neutral pair of feet that roll just the right amount inwards, absorbing the shock forces properly. Runners with this foot type can wear neutral, cushioned running shoes as the feet are themselves doing the balancing work while running. Shoes that brag about ‘motion control’ or ‘stability’ are not meant for the medium arch people.

Flat arch

Runners with a flat arch have a pair of feet that over-pronate. Their feet roll inwards excessively when in motion even after the absorption of the shock. This can result to stress related injuries of the feet. So the right shoes for severe over-pronators would be one with ‘motion control’. For moderate over- pronators the shoes with ‘stability’ would be apt.

High arch

Runners that fall in the high arch category have a pair of feet that roll outwards while running. This causes too much of the shock to travel up the legs. For such feet, you need neutral shoes with a soft cushioning in the middle of the sole. Such runners should not go in for shoes with ‘motion control’ or ‘stability’.

Some quick tips for shoe purchasing


  • Buy new shoes in the evening because by that time your feet would have expanded the maximum extent.
  • Wear running socks while trying on new shoes to judge the best size for you.
  • Running shoes should not fit you right, there should be a bit of extra room in the front to prevent your toes from pressing against the wall of the shoe while you run.
  • Replace your shoes after 800-1000 kms of running.

Now you know how to choose the right running shoe!

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