Choosing a new pair of running shoes can be a daunting task with so many options on the market. If you visit a running shoe store or pick up a magazine about running and jogging, you will find words such as pronation, supination, and neutral to describe your running style. You will find these shoes come in a variety of types and styles that include those for motion control, support, cushioning, and racing. You will discover that the type of shoes you need may depend on whether you do road or trail running, whether you are fast, slow or steady, and whether or not you race. Gone are the days when you would simply go into a store and find a pair of sneakers that fit. Today, choosing athletic shoes has become a science.
If you are in the market for a new pair of running shoes, don't despair. "Pronation" simply means your ankle rolls inward as you run, while "supination" means your ankle rolls to the outside; "neutral" is right in the middle. To find out what type of foot you have, put a paper grocery bag on the floor and wet the bottom of your foot with a sponge. Take a step onto the paper bag and look to see what kind of a print you made. A wide print means you are probably a pronator while a narrow print, or one with the middle missing entirely, shows that you are more than likely a supinator.
Running shoes are made to fit the three main types of running styles, but they also take into account gait, speed, weight, and pace. Sprinting shoes are built differently than the shoes of longevity that a marathoner would wear. Trail shoes are reinforced to be sturdier as a trail runner might encounter roots, rocks, or other obstacles, while street shoes are relatively soft and pliable.
Runners should always have a good pair of running shoes; do not be afraid to spend a fair amount of money on your shoes. Go to a running shoe specialty store and ask for a pair of shoes that fits your running style. Coaches and personal trainers can help you choose shoes as well. Pronators will need a straight shaped shoe while supinators require a shoe that is more curved. If you are a pronator with a flat arch, you will need a motion control shoe, but if you are a supinator with a high arch, you will require a specially cushioned shoe.
The many choices may seem confusing at first, but in the end, you will have the best shoe for your running style, which will mean better running health for your entire body.