Too many people choose fashion over function when purchasing athletic shoes, not realizing that poor fitting shoes can lead to pain throughout the body. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the very best athletic-shoe-every pair of feet is different, every shoe has a different feature, and the overall comfort is a very personal decision. For this reason, it is recommended that you first determine your foot type: normal, flat, or high -arched. When determining your foot type, consult your doctor of chiropractic – they can help you determine your foot type. If you don’t have a chiropractor, you can make a good guess by looking at your wet footprint.
Normal foot: Normal feet have a normal-sized arch and will leave a wet footprint that has a flare, but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a broad band. A normal foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls slightly inward to absorb shock. If you have a normal foot the best shoes for you are: Stability shoes with a slightly curved shape.
The Flat Foot: This type of foot had a low arch and leaves a print that looks like the whole sole of the foot. It usually indicates an overpronated foot-one that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls excessively inward. Over time, this can cause overuse injuries. The best shoes for flat feet are: Motion control shoes or high stability shoes with firm midsoles. These shoes should be fairly resistant to twisting or bending. Stay away from highly cushioned, highly curved shoes, which lack stability features.
The High-Arched Foot: The high-arched foot leaves a print showing a very narrow band-or no band at all-between the forefoot and the heel. A curved, highly arched foot is generally supinated or underpronated. Because the foot doesn’t pronate enough, usually it’s not an effective shock absorber. The best shoe for a high arched: Cushioned shoes with plenty of flexibility to encourage foot motion. Stay away from motion-control or stability shoes, which reduce mobility.
Shoe Purchasing Tips:
- Match the shoe to the activity.
- Shop at a specialty store.
- Shop late in the day (when your feet are at the largest).
- Have your feet measured every time.
- Make sure the shoe fits correctly.
- Shoes should be replaced after approximately 300 to 500 miles.