A good friend of mine has been running every day for as long as I can remember.  She made the assumption that because she ran long distance, and because most marathon runners wore Asics, she should follow suit.  But on a recent trip to buy new sneakers, an employee pointed out her flat feet, got down on the floor to observe her walk, and declared that she should buy a different shoe.

It was all about her personal pronation.  What’s that? People fall into three categories: normal pronation, overpronation, and under pronation.  For a great description on pronation check out Runner’s World.

After a long run, unless we are wearing the right shoes, our feet, back, et al., are usually wailing in pain, and a good running shoe that fits your specific foot is pertinent.

There are three types of running shoes:

Motion Control: For people with flat or low arches

Stability: For people with medium arches

Cushioned: You guessed it… designed for people with high arches.

There should be a thumbnail length of space in the toe box of the shoe.  This usually means you have to go up ½ a size. None of us like to wear bigger shoes. But in the case of the running shoe, a poor fitting shoe can cause all kinds of problems, including back issues and bunions.

You should replace your shoe every 350-550 miles.  Not when the tread runs thin and you slide down that mountain.

And it depends on what kind of running you do: long, short distance, sprints, stairs.  What you’re running on informs your shoe choice as well, i.e., sidewalks are terrible for knees.  Even if you’ve been running for years and assume you know what the right shoe is, you could easily be mistaken if you’ve never asked.

-Arianna Schioldager


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