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Types of Shoes

Motion-control shoes do exactly what they say they do. These shoes are designed to prevent the foot from rolling inward. This is accomplished by using different materials or placing devices in the sole of the shoe. If you overpronate-that is, if your foot rolls inward too much-a motion-control shoe can help. These shoes tend to be rather stiff and generally don't have much cushioning. Runners with flat feet often do well in motion-control shoes.

Stability shoes have more cushioning than motion-control shoes but are still designed to prevent excessive pronation. These shoes usually provide support for the inner (medial) part of the foot. Runners with normal feet, or those who pronate just a little too much, do well in stability shoes.

Cushioned shoes feel the softest when you run. They may feel so wonderful that you think you are running on clouds, but they provide little or no support and don't control foot motion at all. These shoes work best for the biomechanically blessed runner who does not overpronate or oversupinate.

Unfortunately, the very softness of cushioned shoes can lead to problems. If the foot rolls inward or outward too much, a cushioned shoe won't do anything to prevent the excessive roll. Even though they feel great at first, shoes that are too soft can lead to pain in the knees as your joints struggle to keep the foot from rolling inward or outward.

Since so few runners supinate, or roll to the outside of the foot, there aren't nearly as many shoe choices for this type of foot. If you supinate, you will want to avoid shoes designed to prevent the foot from rolling in, because they will just make your problem worse. Look for shoes that enhance the foot's natural tendency to roll inward.

next...Shoes that Fit >>


Penguin Wisdom
I once asked a friend-a fast runner-what he thought the limiting factor in my running was. His answer was as insightful as it was concise. "Maybe you're just slow!"




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Last Updated: April 4, 2000 20:46