Good shoes are still the soundest investment you can make when training for a race. Coupled with a sensible training schedule, they are essential in helping to prevent injury!
The 3 main categories of footwear are: Neutral, Stability and Motion Control.
Neutral shoes are for runners whose feet roll to the outside, arches are high or rigid, and whose knees stay neutral or move outwards through foot strike. They wear their shoes on the outside of the sole. This runner should wear a cushioning shoe with a flexible forefoot and no motion control features.
Stability shoes are for runners with a normal sized arch, lands on the outside of the heel and then moderately rolls inward. They have a semi-flexible arch and their knees roll in slightly when bent. They require extra cushioning and some degree of stability to prevent excessive pronation.
Motion control shoes are for runners whose feet roll in, with low arches, and whose knees move towards each other in a bending position. Their foot strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls inward excessively. This runner needs a firm midsole and a sturdy heel counter.
The fit of your shoe is most important. It should fit snugly, particularly in the heel cup, if you want to avoid ankle and knee problems. You should be able to wiggle your toes at the front of the shoe.
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Still have questions? Head to your local Running Room to consult a Fit Expert!
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John Stanton is the President and Founder of the Running Room. He is the author of 10 books about running, walking and family fitness.