Run Better with Better Shoes


Run Better with the Right Footwear

Most people start off running on the wrong foot, literally.  They simply go to the store and buy the most expensive, fanciest looking pair of shoes they can find that seem comfortable.

This is definitely a recipe for disaster, unless you know what to look for in a running shoe and how it corresponds to your type of foot.

Here are the different type of feet below.  You can figure out what type of foot you have simply by stepping in a tray of water and stepping onto a piece of dry cardboard or a piece of paper and observe the outline of your foot.


Arch Types

Now looking at the outline of your footprint should give you a good indication of high of arch or normal arch you have starting at 0 and 1 on the scale listed in the picture above.  Having a low arch or non-existent arch as in 2 and 3 is an key indicator that your going to need a different type of shoes to improve your run pattern and not tear up your hip, knees and ankles as you run.


Shoe Shapes

Look at the types of shoes below.  Can you guess what each one is for with the comparing shoe shape?


Ideally the shape of shoe mainly pertains to how your feet sit on the floor and how a person runs.  Examine first your current running shoes to determine what part of your feet hit the ground the most.  There will be wear and tear on them.

If you tend to overpronate or roll the feet inward as you run your wear and tear will be along the inside edge of your shoe.   You'll need some good cushioning support and perhaps motion control to prevent excessive overpronation (the foot turns inwards as you run) as not running in a straight line can mess with your knees, hips and ankles.

If you see a lot of wear along the outside edge of the heal and the lateral side of the toe you have a tendency to supinate your foot.  Be careful, this is hard on your knees, hence getting stability and motion controlled shoe is a great option.  This would most likely be a more curvy shoe, indicated above.

Now as we move to the right you can see the shoes get more curved and responsive.  This will be more of your stability types of shoes that you'd want to get if you're more of a medium to higher arched foot to transfer force really well.

Persons with a high arch need some good cushioning toward the front of the foot and arch support.  Generally wear and tear on people with these type of feet will have wear on the back of the foot with the soul worn out on the ball of the feet (slightly more internal edge).  Overall these persons should have a very solid running pattern and these are generally people who love to run, because it's easy and almost effortless to run.  Mainly because it doesn't cause as much pain afterwards from the twisting motions associated with running.  This is a generalized statement, but aside.


Get Out There

Try these little tips the next time you're out and about looking for another running shoe and keep on running without pain!

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Jess Howland

Jesse "Captain Smash" Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold's Gym. He's a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.