Photo by ASICS
It’s interesting to see how times are changing, people are becoming more aware of how certain shoes feel on their feet while running. Not so long ago, most people just bought shoes that fancied their eyes and were somewhat comfortable. People have come to understand that there are different types of running shoes suited to different people.
Stability shoes, Motion Control Shoes, and Neutral Shoes, all sound super cool yeah? yeah! Let’s understand more about these types now. But wait, before we get into understanding the types, we must first understand what ‘pronation’ is.
Photo by: footbionics.com
Let’s understand the term ‘Gait’. Simply put, It’s a person’s manner of walking. Every person has a different ‘G Cycle’ (measured from heel strike to heel strike, as shown in the image above) and obviously, the running gait is simply the gait when you’re running.
Imagine that you’re running, notice the way your foot lands on the ground stride after stride, how does your foot actually land? Did you notice the slight inward rolling of your foot? Yup, that i called pronation. Pronation is your body’s natural mechanism to minimize the shock it experiences each time you take a stride. Everyone pronates to a different degree. Depending on your foot structure, your foot rolls inwards quite a bit (overpronation), your foot does not roll as much (supination/under-pronation) or it rolls in just enough(neutral). If you’re wondering what factors affect the degree to which you pronate, simply put, it’s the alignment between your ankle, hip and knee. This alignment also dictates the arch (High arch, Middle arch, or Low arch) you have.
demonstrating types of pronation of the right foot. Photo by: Kurufootwear
A quick way to determine your arch would be the Wet-Foot test. Follow the steps below:
You must have figured it out by now, People choose what type of running shoe is best for them based on how their foot pronates. Now, let’s get into the type of shoes that’s best suited for different kinds of pronation.
Photo by: believeintherun.com
Just like the name suggests, stability shoes provide stability. That was obvious... This type of shoe was designed for the flat feet gang and people (low archers) who have the tendency to overpronate. The shoes have additional cushioning in the midsole area, under the arch of the shoe. This is called medial post. This helps align the foot of the over-pronators to a more normal/neutral alignment.
Different brands use a combination of different foams to get this done. Some stability shoes we would highly recommend are ASICS Gel-Kayano 27, ON Cloudflyer, Balance 860 V10, Mizuno wave inspire.
These are designed for people who have a more efficient and ideal running gait or under-pronators, if you’ve been to a running store, You’ll notice a few shoes that have a curved or semi curved, appearance, called the rocker, like the New Balance 1080 V10 or the ASICS Gel-Cumulus collection These shoes are shaped differently but most brands label their shoes as ‘Stability’ or ‘Neutral’ so it’s easier for you to just pick it up and try it on instead of figuring out which is which.
These shoes have most of the cushioning on the heel and are relatively lighter than your stability shoes as stability shoes use more thicker dense foam, but neutral shoes don’t require the added support.
Some neutral shoes we would recommend would be the ASICS Cumulus 22, New Balance Fresh Foam More V2, and ON .
Have your arch analyzed and pick a shoe that is most suited for your gait. It really does make a difference once you get the shoe that is right for you.
Either way, make sure you get the possible for shoe for your gait and feel the difference!