Woman with running shoesRunning shoes have their own entire walls and even stores dedicated to showing off their different styles and how they can accommodate runners of all kinds. Looking at all those shoes, you might wonder—are they really all that different? Does it matter what you wear? Choosing the right pair of running shoes for your feet and your running style does make a difference, helping you run better and avoid injuries.

Why the Right Pair Matters

Running shoes are specially designed to handle the strain of running on your feet and legs. They are constructed differently from other types of athletic shoes, and come in many different styles to meet individual needs. They can even be built to handle different surfaces, like road running versus trails.

Ultimately, your shoes affect how your feet strike the ground and absorb shock. They are meant to help you do this safely and effectively. When they are worn out, not fitted correctly, or wrong for your feet, they don’t provide the kind of support your lower limbs really need. You can be more prone to injuries like shin splints or heel pain and gait issues that way. By contrast, the right running shoes protect your lower limbs when you run, helping with shock absorption and, depending on the kind, even your biomechanics.

Find a Style that Fits

Finding the best pair of running shoes means knowing a little bit about how and where you plan to run. Will you run mostly on paved roads and hard packed surfaces, or will you run on loose dirt and uneven trails and need thicker soles? Do you want cushioned insoles to help you absorb hard impacts, or do you prefer a minimalist approach, so you really feel the ground? Each of these answers will affect how you run and the impact it has on your lower limbs. While choosing a style may come down to your personal comfort and running preferences, your biomechanics and foot shape may affect the best kind of shoe for you, too.

Selecting Shoes for Your Foot Shape and Biomechanics

Just like any other footwear, your running shoes need to fit your unique feet and needs. This requires being aware of your arch height and biomechanics like pronation style. Pronation is how your arches roll to absorb the impact of your feet striking the ground. Naturally your arches are designed to flatten and roll inward slightly with every step. If your feet roll too far inward, they overpronate and put excess pressure on your forefoot and the inside of your midfoot. If your feet do not roll enough, they supinate (or underpronate) and put too much stress on the outsides of your feet.

Your running shoes should accommodate these biomechanics to help you get the most from your stride. Minimalist and light-weight shoes don’t offer any extra support and cushioning, impacting the way your feet strike the ground. Motion control shoes have more cushioning and arch support to offer stability for severe overprontation. Stability shoes help support feet with moderate overpronation. Neutral styles don’t offer any foot control, which makes them best for neutral or underpronators. No one running shoe style is better or worse than the others—you simply need to find the right pair for your own running needs.

Wearing good running shoes that support your feet the way you need them to are important. Don’t settle for less and risk painful problems keeping you from the sport you love. If you’re having trouble with your running shoes, or you aren’t sure what kind you need, let us help you at Absolute Foot Care Specialists. Contact us for an evaluation or more information today! You can use our online forms or call one of our Las Vegas locations at (702) 839-2010.