Is your shoe right for you?
The art of Running Footwear prescription has become just that, an art. With up to 100 new models on the shelf every year, it pays to speak to those in the know. Before you do, here are some important points of consideration.
What role does my foot type play?
Short answer to this is: a massive one. The way your foot acts during your run completely dictates the role your shoes need to play. Apart from neutral, most of us can be categorized into 2 main foot types; supination (high arch), and over-pronation (low arch).Let’s look at these in a bit more detail.
Supination: This is the rarest of the three foot types and often the hardest to get the right shoe for. A high arched foot requires two major things from a shoe; cushioning and lateral support. Because a high arched foot has less in contact with the ground, the pressure of your run is distributed through a smaller surface area. Generous amounts of cushioning under your heel and toes will help to disperse these forces. BOOST, the innovative cushioning system used in the midsole of adidas Running shoes, not only provides the required softness, but provides the highest amount of energy return to the wearer, meaning more energy for you during Running. Because those with a high arch often Supinate or roll out, the shoe needs to provide good lateral (outside) stability. A good heel counter, midsole, and upper construction will be important. Cushioned, flexible shoes like the Supernova Glide from adidas are the perfect shoe for those wanting a soft, neutral trainer that allows maximum comfort and allows you to include your orthotics where needed. Those of us with a narrower foot are catered for also, with the adiZero adios (the current shoe worn by the World Marathon record holder) giving all the features a neutral shoe should, only on a more performance based, faster shape.
Over-Pronation: For those of us not lucky enough to fall into the neutral category, many of us will over-pronate. The key here is the word ‘over’. Many people fall into the trap of getting the wrong shoe because they think pronation is wrong. The truth is we need our feet to pronate, its over-pronation that we want to reduce. To help this, medial (inside) support is important from the shoe. Innovative support technologies like Tuned BOOST also help to reduce over-pronation and allow less invasive medial support devices, meaning more comfort during your run. Running brands like adidas provide different options for differing amounts of over-pronation. For the moderate pronator, the Ultra BOOST ST gives the perfect mix of support and cushioning while for those of us needing a generous stability, the Supernova Sequence BOOST gives all the support you’ll need during your run.
How do I know my foot type?
There have been many suggestions on how to evaluate your own foot type. You can check your walk in the mirror, look at your wet foot prints, or look at your old shoes. The best way these days though is to seek the advice of a trained staff member from a reputable footwear store. Talking with a trained staff member increases your chances of getting the right shoe for you.
What do I need to look for in a good shoe?
We can categorize a good shoe into 5 simple areas:
Cushioning: Make sure the shoe has generous amounts of cushioning under both the heel and forefoot. Some people like more than others, so make sure it feels adequate for what you require. Some cheaper shoes can feel soft by simply having a thick insole in the shoe, so make sure you get cushioning in both the midsole and the insole. BOOST technology from adidas provides supreme cushioning, and unmatched durability to help your shoes feel newer for longer. You really need to try a pair on!
Support: If you require medial or lateral support, make sure you still feel comfortable in the shoe. If the support device is pushing, rubbing, or hurting in any way, the shoe isn’t right. Support devices like Tuned BOOST from adidas provide the support you need, without the feel of too much stability.
Fit: This is a key component of the process as many aspects of your foot can actually change as the day goes on. It’s recommended that you have about 1cm of room between your toes and the end of the shoe. This allows for changes in volume due to heat or increases in activity. It’s also important to make sure you measure from your longest toe. Quite a few of us have a longer second toe than first. Also make sure the shoe is not too narrow. You should feel the upper hugging your foot, but always remember that running shoes generally do not have to wear in. They will not give over the next week, they must fit perfectly from the moment you put them on, otherwise the fit is not right. Knitted uppers like adidas Primeknit provide incredible comfort mixed with functional support to improve fit.
Function: Shoes these days are designed to work with your foot, not against it. Your transition from heel to toe should feel easy, unrestricted, and most of all comfortable. New shoes in the adidas technical range utilise a Brand new outsole technology called Stretch Web. Develop using ground-breaking motion analysis, Stretch Web allows the shoe to work perfectly with your foot during natural function.
Feel: This is by far the most important of all aspects. There is no use getting the right fit and technologies if at the end of the day the shoe just doesn’t feel right. This is why trying on a number of shoes is a key point. You are the person that is paying for and wearing them, the ultimate decision should be yours.
Does price matter?
Like anything in this world, you generally get what you pay for. When talking about footwear, an increase in price gets you an increase in two very important aspects; technology and longevity. To give an example, a $200 shoe should have around twice the technology and be at its best for twice as long.
What foot types match which shoes?
This is where the assistance of a specialist staff member can be beneficial. The above information will help involve you in the decision making process and better help you understand your feet.