Purchasing anything new can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very frustrating. Purchasing a pair of Running shoes is no different, and do the nature of our bodies I wouldn’t recommend rushing into a pair of shoes just because they are cheap or convenient.
No two people have exactly the same foot; however manufactures have divided shoes into three different categories: Cushioning, Stability, and Motion Control. Within these three categories their can be a lot of variation, but it is a good base guide to start with.
Cushioning – Cushioning shoes are shoes that have little to no lateral support. These shoes are good for runners who do not need this support, and have neutral feet. Generally this type of shoe will be for the runner with a high arch. Instances where this type of shoe is not right is in a case where you are a pronator or an overpronator.
Stability – Stability shoes are a mid range shoe category which offer a balance between cushioning and motion control. This shoe is for a runner who has a normal arch, lands on the outside of the foot and rolls forward. If you are unsure of where else to be this category is a good place to start.
Motion Control – The motion control category is for runners who really need support in a running shoe. Extreme pronators and overpronators can take advantage of a Motion control shoe, as well as a runner with weak ankles and other foot problems that would benefit from a shoe with a lot of stability.
Of course with only three categories like I mentioned above, there is a lot of room for variation. This is only meant to be used as a quick guide for things to look for in running shoes. I would recommend visiting a running store and having an employee look at your feet to give you a good idea of what category your feet fit in. If you have serious foot complications like extreme pronation, fallen arches, etc I would recommend visiting a foot doctor, as running shoes by themselves might not be enough. You could require orthotics, or even just simple strengthening exercises to get and keep you on your feet.
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