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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's National Running Day... are You Wearing the Right Shoes?

It's National Running Day - a day where we celebrate our love for running. Commemorate the day by strapping on your shoes and hitting the pavement. But, wait.... are you wearing the right running shoes?

One of the reasons runners love running is because it's easy to do anywhere - the only equipment required is a pair of shoes. Yet, these days there seems to be an endless number of styles. Do you pronate? Have a high arch? Is your heel wide? Do you have flat feet? Your answer will lead you to the best choice for you and prevent unnecessary injury.

How do you decipher it all? The AAOS helps cut through the shoe clutter, by narrowing down the styles into three main categories. Know your type before your next purchase.

  1. Cushioned or "neutral" shoes. These are designed for runners with high arched, rigid feet. Runners with this type of foot are classified as "supinator." The midsole of a cushioned running shoe will generally have a single color of soft foam material, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), in the arch and heel. A moldable synthetic material, EVA has varying density properties to provide more or less cushion in the shoe. 
  2. Stability shoes. These provide light to moderate stability for individuals with an arch that may collapse while running. This type of runner, classified as a "pronator," needs to maintain their arch while running. Stability shoes have two to three different shades of gray polyurethane material in the arch, and possibly the heel, each with a different density to provide more support for the pronated (flat) foot type. The polyurethane material will make the shoe feel heavier than a shoe made only with EVA. 
  3. Motion control shoes. These are designed for runners who are "severe pronators." As the most stable shoe, these are the shoe of choice for runners with flat feet, and those with a heavier body weight. A motion control shoe may have an extra stabilizer added to the inside edge of the heel counter to provide maximum control. 
Click here for more information from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons on safe running practices. 

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