Get to know your feet! Take a minute to find out which category your feet fall into. This way, you'll secure a pair of shoes tailored to your individual needs, reducing discomfort, pain and even injury.
The "Wet Test"
- Get your foot wet.
- Place it on a surface, such as a sidewalk or dark piece of construction paper. This will show an imprint of your foot.
- Look at the imprint's characteristics to determine your foot type.
Basic Foot Types
Fairly self-explanatory, this type shows a complete impression of your foot, as it rests flush against the ground. Because your foot doesn't form a normal arch, this means it strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls excessively inward. This extra stress, in turn, causes many types of injuries. Around 65% of the population has pronated feet, either from obesity, arthritis, foot trauma or genetics.
High-Arched Foot (Supinated)
You'll see a large open area on the imprint where your foot's arch didn't touch the ground. The verdict? More rigid, your foot neither rolls inward enough nor absorbs shock well. Other characteristics include the heel and toes being drawn inward. About 25% of the population has supinated feet. Main causes? Musculoskeletal disorders and genetics.
Neutral (Ideal foot)
Lucky you! A moderate space will appear in the imprint's arch area. This means you land on the outside of the heel, then roll inward slightly to absorb shock. If you are of normal weight, you are considered the most biomechanically sound type of runner. Only about 10% of the population has neutral feet.
Shoe Features to Look For
- Stability is most important. Features like a medial post (a stiff material on the inner side of shoe) will provide good arch support, reducing that "rolling in" motion.
- Avoid lots of cushioning. It'll only intensify instability and pronation problems by allowing your feet to continue rolling inward. Look for a firm midsole material that adds stability, such as polyurethane.
- Find a durable heel. To bolster stability, look for a beveled heel and durable carbon rubber outsole.
- Stability becomes less important.
- Cushioning is needed, especially in the heel and forefoot. You'll want a midsole with EVA a rubber-like foam that'll provide the softest cushioning and the lightest weight.
- Find a flexible heel. Plus look for a softer, lighter outsole.
- Moderate stability.
- Good cushioning.
- Outstanding durability.