Running/Walking Shoe Information

Running/Walking Shoe Information

The best way to ensure you have the right shoes for walking or running longer distances is to seek out a professional who can analyze your gait and arch type.  This can be done at a local running store. Many of these stores are still providing these analysis during the pandemic, however you may be able to inquire about a virtual option.

There are some home methods to determining your arch type.  Your arch type may change when you move. Standing on a machine analyzes your arch type or using a wet foot print only tells us about mechanics while standing. You can aksi look at the wear pattern on the tread of your shoes.

  • Wear on the outer edge could suggest excessive supination (outward roll of the foot). Recommendation: cushioned, neutral shoe.
  • Increased wear on the inner side of the shoe and the ball of the foot may suggest overpronation (inward roll). Recommendation: A shoe with stability.
  • If you have a neutral arch that doesn’t collapse when you walk or run. Recommendation: Neutral shoe.
  • If you have a high arch that collapses when you run or walk. Recommendation: Stability shoe, or arch support.

**If you try one of these shoes without being analyzed with a gait analysis and are experiencing pain, it may not be the right shoe for you! Wearing the wrong category shoe can also cause injury**

A neutral shoe has no extra motion control.  Shoes that fall under this category are:

  • Nike Pegasus
  • Brooks Ghost or Launch
  • New Balance 880
  • Asics Gel Nimbus
  • Saucony Ride

A stability shoe has extra support to prevent movement. Shoes in this category are:

  • Nike Zoom Structure
  • Brooks Ravenna or Adrenaline
  • New Balance 860
  • Saucony Guide or Hurricane
  • Asics GT 2000

Does price or brand matter? 

  • Yes! If you walk into Target and see a pair of Nikes those Nikes are not made in the same way as a pair that you may get at a running shoe or sporting goods store. Even a sporting goods store has a range of quality.
  • Selecting a shoe that is of poor quality, lacking in cushion and support can lead to injury or pain while walking or running.
  • There are specific models and brands that are made specifically to absorb the shock of running and walking.

Did you know your feet swell during exercise?

  • When purchasing a walking or running shoe you should go up in size about 1 -1.5 sizes. (If you wear an 8.5 or 9 in one of your regular shoes, you would purchase a 10 in a running shoe)
  • This prevents black toe nails! This is not a sign of a diehard runner, it is a sign that your shoes doesn’t fit right!
  • The shoe may feel a little roomy when you try it on but there are ways to lace the shoes so they don’t slip. After walk or run you’ll be thankful for that extra room.

Does the type of socks I wear matter?

  • Yes! Cotton socks soak up sweat or water. That will then cause friction and rubbing leading to blisters.  Sport or wicking socks should be worn when walking or running.

Arch Supports:

  • Over the counter arch supports can give you extra support whether your shoe provides it or not. Just as with shoes not all arch supports are the same.
  • To prevent collapsing of the arch a more rigid support is recommended. A soft flexible insert will collapse under the foot and not provide support. Think about walking on soft sand versus wet sand at the beach.
  • If at any time you develop pain in your feet that doesn’t go away it is best to consult with a physical therapist or podiatrist who may recommend a prescription level orthotic.

Minimalist/Barefoot Running

Some years ago barefoot running and minimalist shoes became popular. There are benefits in some cases however anyone new to running will be more comfortable with a shoe that provides cushion and support as your body adapts to running/walking longer distances.