No sporting goods or running store would be complete without the giant wall of footwear waiting to confound shoe shoppers. Sure, price and gender rule out many of the shoes pretty quickly, but you’re likely to find there are dozens of pairs left to choose from with labels like “neutral”, “trail” and “minimalist.”
“When a person is selecting a running shoe, I think there’s a couple things they need to take into consideration,” said Dr. Troy Smurawa, of Akron Children’s Sports Medicine department. “First of all you want to look at your running style. Are you running on a track? Are you running on roads? Are you running on trails?”
Dr. Smurawa noted that other factors such as foot support, and comfort and fit, and foot arch each play a role in selecting the most appropriate shoe.
“There are basically three different foot types, and that has to do with the arch. You either have a very flat foot, or you have a very rigid arch, high arch foot, or you have somewhere in between which is called a neutral foot,” said Dr. Smurawa.
Once these factors are sorted out, it’s a little easier to determine if you need a neutral, motion-control or stability shoe, or if you’re going to be more adventurous and try out a glove shoe, which as the name indicates, looks like a glove on your foot. Dr. Smurawa recommends working with the sales staff at a local running specialty store to find the right shoe for you.
Of course, now you’ve arrived at the most important selection criteria of all: Neon yellow or khaki.