When it comes to shoes, some styles are clearly better for you. Some footwear may look classy but be terrible for your feet and leave you with pain. When it comes to choosing the “best” option, however, there is no clear answer—even for footwear like running shoes. The truth is that the best pair is the one that fits your needs, your foot shape, and your running style to help prevent injuries.
As anyone who has stepped inside a shoe store could tell you, there are many kinds of running shoes. Each of these kinds of footwear is designed to work for different feet, running surfaces, pronation, and foot strike.
So before you chose a pair of running shoes, it’s helpful to know what the different types are and how they affect your feet:
- Barefoot or minimalist soles – Barefoot shoes provide you with the thinnest layer of protection possible, so you’re able to feel the ground but don’t have to worry about puncture wounds. Minimalist shoes are lightweight with thin soles and little to no support, but they do offer a small layer of cushioning for shock absorption.
- Traditional cushioned soles – These shoes have padded soles, some degree of arch support, and a slight heel drop, which means the heel is raised in height compared to your toes.
- Super-cushioned soles – These shoes have a higher-than-normal amount of sole padding to help absorb more pressure. However, the thick soles prevent your feet from feeling the ground and moving naturally.
- Stability or motion control – These are a running shoe with a traditional sole, solid arch support, and structure to control your biomechanics. Stability shoes help feet with mild-to-medium overpronation, while motion control styles offer much greater stability for feet with moderate to severe overpronation issues.
- Neutral styles – The padded soles help absorb shock and your arches are supported, but the shoes don’t control your foot’s biomechanics.
Ultimately, the best running shoes depend on how your foot strikes the ground, the surface you’ll be running on, and your biomechanical needs. Knowing your feet and your running style will help you make the best choices for your unique situation. If you’re not sure how to choose, or would like to know more about your feet and running, contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists today. We’ll be happy to help you become the best runner you can be by taking care of your feet. Contact our Las Vegas offices at (702) 839-2010, or through our online forms.