Find the Right Running Shoe for your Foot
Here I’m going to help you to find the right running shoe for your foot. Everyone’s feet are different. In shape, size, arch height, width and toe shape.
Improper shoe sizing is the primary cause of ingrown toenails, bunions, corns or hammer toes. Shoes that don’t fit your feet correctly can also lead to imbalances in the back or hip muscles, leading to foot, knee and hip injuries.
The correct fit allows for the natural expansion of the foot when hitting the ground. The correct fit will also allow your foot to move and work the way nature intended.
Tips on sizing
When a load is applied to your foot by running, your foot will spread up to half an inch in length (1.27cm). One shoe size is only 1/3 inch (0.8cm). Also under load your foot will splay 15 percent at the widest part of the foot, and this is at the toes.
Try several shoes on, and always do this at the end of the day when your feet are most flattened and swollen.
Always try both shoes on. This is because your feet are probably a different size. Always fit the larger foot. Also always wear the socks that you will be running in when sizing your shoe.
Make sure your toes have room to splay within the toebox.
Take the removable insole out and place your foot on it as a template. Is there room at the toes or does your foot completely cover the insole? If there is no room to spare or your foot is larger than the insole, this shoe is too small. Keep going up a half size until there is room at the end where your toes are.
Do not lace the shoes up too tight. Allow spread in the midfoot and forefoot.
Stand up on your toes. Can you put your index finger in the back of the shoe? If not, the shoe is too small. If you can get two fingers in there, the shoe is too big.
Walk on a firm surface to see if they are comfortable, not a soft carpeted one. If your’e running on road, or trail, the ground is hard.
When you have tried all this you will have the right size of shoe for your feet.
There are Three Types of Running Shoe to choose from
These types will be defined by your running style as categorised in the next section.
1. MAXIMUM SUPPORT RUNNING SHOES
This category gives the most support, and is designed to ease excessive pronation. The shoes include features like medial posts, which are usually made of EVA. The higher density materials on the inner side of the midsole will stop it from collapsing as the heel turns outward. The shoes also tend to have a carbon rubber outer sole for reduce wear and are built on a straight mold, which offers maximum ground contact and stability.
2. STRUCTURED CUSHIONED / STABILITY SHOES
These shoes offer a good mix of stability and cushioning. They are not as heavy and controlling as maximum support running shoes, but still gives excellent support. This is the most popular category of training shoes and are generally built on a straight or semi curved mold to offer ground contact stability.
3. CUSHIONED / NEUTRAL TRAINERS
Cushioned shoes generally have no medial posts which make the shoe lighter. They are built on a curved or semi curved mold to encourage faster movement and feel softer under-foot. This shoe is ideal for neutral foot types who are less than 13 stone in weight (or 182lbs or 82.7Kg). If you have a neutral foot type but are over 13 stone in weight, consider the above structured cushioning shoes, which offer a little more support.
Choosing the type of running shoe
To best check your running style, check the wear patterns on your old shoes.
The red areas are where the the shoes wear for different types of running styles.
The outside of your running shoes show the most wear. If you put your running shoes on a flat surface, you will notice an outward tilt.
This style tends to be susceptible to shock-related injuries like stress fractures, you should choose a neutral running shoe with plenty of cushioning. Here are some examples, just click on the shoe name for a full review:
- Nike Air Max
- Nike Air Zoom Vomero,
- Nike Air Pegasus
- Saucony Triumph Saucony Grid Shadow.
- Asics Nimbus ASICS Gel-Cumulus
- Mizuno Wave Rider
- Brooks Ghost Brooks Glycerin
The soles of your running shoes show wear in an S-shaped pattern, from the
outer (lateral) heel to the big toe
If you put your shoes on a flat surface, there will be no tilt.
When you have a normal pronation pattern you can run in a wide variety of shoes, but specialized neutral running shoes offering cushioning and support are most suitable. Here are some examples, just click on the shoe name for a full review:
- Saucony Ride 9
- Saucony Kinvara 7
- Brooks Ghost
- Asics Gel Nimbus
- Mizuno Wave Rider 19
- Nike Free
- Adidas Energy Boost 3
- New Balance 1080v6
Extra wear on the inside of the heel and under the ball of the foot, especially
the big toe
If you put your shoes on a flat surface, you will notice an inward tilt.
You will need maximum support, structured cushioning, and stability. Here are some examples, just click on the shoe name for a full review:
- ASICS GEL Foundation 12
- ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri 11
- ASICS GT-2000 4
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18
- Mizuno Wave Inspire 13
- Nike Lunarglide 9
- Saucony Hurricane 16
- Saucony Omni 16
Will you be running on the road, a treadmill or maybe cross country? All these surfaces require a different kind of shoe.
The main difference between road shoes and trail is their composition. You don’t need as much grip on a road as compared to a trail. Trail running shoes are heavier and designed to support and protect the foot on rocky wet trails. Where road shoes are lighter but still protect with cushioning for the pavement.
I hope you found this useful. If you have any questions or you would like to add to this page, please leave a comment below.