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The Importance of Good Running Shoes

If you are a frequent runner it is important to wear the correct shoes whilst indulging in your favourite sport. You may be tempted to throw on any pair of trainers and head straight outdoors, however not all trainers are designed for running. Wearing the wrong type of shoe may hamper performance and even increase the likelihood of injuries to the lower limbs such as plantar fasciitis and arthritic joint damage.

In order to select the right shoe it is important to be aware of your foot type. The important aspect to consider is how much your foot pronates (rolls-in) when you move. Those who over-pronate tend to have a low arch which makes the foot appear flat, and those who supinate (roll-outwards) and tend to have a very high arch. A simple and effective test that you can do in the comfort of your own home is the “wet test.” This should help you to assess your own foot type. Wet your feet and step onto a dry surface and then examine your wet foot print. If your foot print does not have a visible gap where the arch should be located on the inner aspect of the foot print, you are likely to be a Pronator, if you have a very prominent gap on the inner aspect of the foot print, you are likely to be a Supinator and if it's somewhere in between you're likely to have a normal foot.

Normal foot shape

If your feet are biomechanically efficient and have the right degree of pronation upon movement, you should purchase a running shoe that offers stability. It should feature adequate padding and a good ankle and shin support.


A foot that over-pronates transfers too much weight to the inner edge of the foot and destabilises it. Over-pronators require a running shoe which is rigid and control-orientated, designed to decrease the amount of rolling-in as the foot moves. This lessens the chance of associated injury.


When a normal foot is in motion, the heel strikes the ground first and then the foot rotates inward to absorb shock. In a supinating foot there is little rotation and the weight stays along the outside of the foot. This puts the foot under more stress from shock and so the supinating foot requires a running shoe with curved lasts, extra cushioning and flexibility to allow the foot to rotate. Selecting Running Shoes When choosing a pair of running shoes it is best to get fitted at a specialist running shop. You need not expect to spend a lot of money on a pair of good quality running shoes. The most expensive shoes are designed to be lightweight and durable for marathon runners, but most sports brands will have reasonably priced shoes which will meet the needs of many runners.

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