No-one said that finding a pair of shoes to exactly fit your lifestyle was going to be easy. In fact, it can be downright confusing! The problem with buying the wrong running shoes is that, although you might spend a bit less money to start off with, you also increase your risk of incurring an injury from being unprotected, which in the long run ends up being – yup, you guessed it – a waste of money, rather than a saving. So what are you supposed to do? Let’s look at ways to determine what the right running shoe for you would be.
Running shoes with maximum support
These running shoes offer the most support across all ranges, and are a great solution to pronation-related issues. If you’ve heard the word, but are not sure what it means, pronation quite simply refers to the rise and fall and rolling motions of your foot when you walk or run. Top tip: the professionals at any of the Nike stores in Australia are a great source of information if you need help with this! Thanks to the inclusion of high-density materials in the midsole, maximum support running shoes provide stability to the foot as the heel descends on the sole during a regular running motion.
A carbon rubber outer also means that maximum support shoes are very durable, and offer the highest amount of ground contact of any kind of shoe. Nike sales are a great place to start looking for a suitable pair of maximum support shoes.
Structured running shoes
Also known as stability shoes, this is exactly what these smartly designed shoes offer. Hitting a perfect midway mark between cushioning your step and providing motion control, they are lighter than maximum support shoes, but still offer a very comparable level of support. This category of running shoes is very popular, and while they are lighter to wear, they still provide excellent ground contact.
Cushioning running shoes
These shoes do not have any particular features that might affect motion control, and are considered neutral. They are the lightest design of all the shoes discussed so far, and are designed for faster movement based on their lightweight design. Thanks to the additional cushioning, they are very soft to wear, and are renowned for advanced levels of comfort. Those with neutral feet do great with a pair of shoes like this, assuming that your comfort is not subject to any additional conditions, like being overweight, or needing specialized orthotic footwear. There are several models of Nike shoes for sale within this category.
Picking the right pair
Just knowing the difference between the different types of shoes will go a long way helping you navigate your way to the right pair for you, but before you start working your way through Nike stores in AU – there’s more to it than that!
The next step is knowing what type of feet you have. That means low, normal or high arched feet – do you know what yours is? The best way to determine this, is to do what is known as The Wet Test. This is simply done by wetting the bottoms of your feet, and standing on a piece of sturdy paper for about ten seconds. Then look at the imprint you’ve made:
If you can see most of your foot without any curve, you likely have low arches. This would commonly mean that you need a pair of shoes with a bit more stability, to compensate for the fact that your feet are quite flat. Building up your arches artificially using your shoes, can be a great help in preventing pain and creating stability.
A strong curve with a slight band connecting your heel and toes is generally a normal foot, while a very thin band between your heel and toes can mean that you have very high arches, and would benefit from a cushioned shoe.
Dealing with different types of pronation
In people who overpronate, the heel hits the ground and then rolls inwards. This is because there is not enough stability in the ankle to prevent this movement. If you have flat feet or low arches, you might recognize this. Motion control shoes with lots of built-in stability is a good option for this condition.
Under pronation is also known as supination, and the terms can be used interchangeably. When you under pronate, the outside of your heel will hit the ground first, and the motion of the foot will roll along the outside edge as the foot completes its motion. High arches can be mitigated by a shoe with lots of cushioning.