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If The Shoe Fits: A Runner’s Guide to Picking the Perfect Shoes

When it comes to running, a proper-fitting shoe can easily be the difference between whether or not you spend your workout in comfort or in pain.

Whether you’re running, walking or working out at the gym, a decent shoe is a must if you hope to prevent foot and ankle damage, and make your workout a more pleasant and comfortable experience.

Finding the right shoe, however, isn’t always easy.

In order to make sure you get the perfect fit for your feet, here a few helpful tips to make sure you purchase the best shoe for your needs.

Picking the Perfect Shoes

All surfaces are not created equally, and modern-day running shoes are now built to the work better on certain terrains.

Road-running: These shoes are designed for pavement and packed surfaces with slight irregularities. They’re made to cushion or stabilize feet during repetitive strides on hard, even surfaces.

Trail-running: These shoes are designed for off-road routes with rocks, mud, roots or other obstacles. They have a more aggressive tread than road-running shoes and offer more traction, support and underfoot protection.

Cross-training: These shoes are designed for gym or any workout where having more contact with the ground is preferred over a thick platform sole. If you are a gym rat, this is the type of shoe for you.

Picking the perfect shoes is never easy, but these tips will certainly help!

Picking the perfect shoes is never easy, but these tips will certainly help!

Examine Your Stride

Pronation is the rolling of the foot from heel to toe through the foot strike. It shows a wear pattern centralized to the ball of the foot and a small portion of the heel. It is the foot’s natural inward roll following the heel striking the ground.  In order to properly diagnose your pronation, it’s best to visit a podiatrist, but you can also perform certain tests at home to determine foot pronation.

Basic pronation: The normal trait of neutral, biomechanically efficient runners. It helps absorb impact, relieving pressure on knees and joints.

Overpronation: Identified by wear patterns along the inside edge of your shoe, overpronation is an exaggerated form of the foot’s natural inward roll. It is a common trait that affects the majority of runners and requires additional stability or motion control in shoes.

Supination: Is marked by wear along the outer edge of your shoe. It is an outward rolling of the foot resulting in insufficient impact reduction at landing

To determine your level of pronation, look at your shoes you walk or run in. Most everyone will begin on the outside of the heel, the real indicator would be the wear on the forefoot.

So what type of shoe is right for you?

Typically, running shoes come in three shapes (straight, semi-curved and curved) which correspond to your pronation.

  • Overpronators should choose a running shoe with a straight shape.
  • Underpronators should choose a running shoe with a curved shape.
  • Normal pronators should choose a running shoe with a semi-curved shape.

It’s important to remember that a proper fit is the most important factor when searching for the right running shoe. Do not be swayed by latest fad and find what type of shoe is right for you.

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The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:


16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472



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