How to Choose the Right Running Shoe

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Today I would like to discuss the process of choosing the right running shoe for you. Typically, running shoes fall into three categories:

  1. Stability
  2. Motion Control
  3. Neutral or Cushioned

Each shoe is right for a particular person with a specific foot type. Not every shoe, however, is right for every foot type.

Someone with a foot with a good arch and generally a good stable foot will go into a stability running shoes. A stability shoe is built with the "normal" mechanics in mind and is suitable for the person who is an efficient runner. This is someone who generally doesn't suffer from foot pain or other issues, such as shin splints.

Someone with a flat foot is an inherently unstable foot and should go into a motion control shoe. This shoe will give extra support and stability to compensate for the naturally unstable mechanics. If someone with a flat foot wears a custom orthotic, then a stability shoe should be worn instead of a motion control shoe. This is because the orthotic helps the foot to function in a more stable way.

Finally, someone with a cavus, or high-arched foot, should wear a neutral or cushioned shoe. A cavus foot has naturally limited amount of shock absorption and is a much more rigid foot. For that reason, a neutral or cushioned shoe will help to provide that shock absorption. With the use of a custom orthotic, this person will still be best suited for a neutral or cushioned shoe, since the orthotic is not going to add any additional shock absorption.

If you are concerned that you are not wearing the right running shoe or, even if you are, you continue to have foot pain, feel free to contact the office for an immediate appointment.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.