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SOLE SEARCHING: 8 Tips to Finding Your Perfect Pair of Athletic Shoes (Tip #3)



Photo courtesy of The Beatles 1969 Album Cover: Abbey Road


Tip #3 Walk This Way

High, low, or smack-dab in the middle (neutral)… chances are your feet arches fall into one of these three categories. While a small chunk of the population (~25%) have neutral arches, much of the population fall either in the high or low categories (~75%). No matter your foot type, you should understand that all shoes are not created equal for all foot types.


For individuals with high arches, the key is to find shoes with sufficient CUSHIONING and FLEXIBILITY.  High-arched feet have a tendency to excessively turn outward (supination) placing increased plantar pressure on the heels and balls of your feet (as seen above). Athletic shoes with increased flexibility encourages high arched feet to pronate (turn inward), while a soft cushioned sole provides shock absorption when walking and running aiding in foot propulsion.


Low-arched feet (popularly known to the world as flat feet) excessively pronate (check above) when walking and running allowing your feet to propel, thus walking and running. However, overpronation minimizes shock absorption and subjects your feet to excessive ground reactive forces that can spell doom to not only your feet, but your legs as well- bunions, plantar fasciitis and shin splints just to name a few conditions. The solution? Find athletic shoes with ample arch support and rigid heel support to provide MOTION CONTROL.  


 Neutral-arched feet (as seen above) are considered the most ideal among the three foot structures, in terms of the corrective measures to be considered when on that elusive shoe hunt. The magic word to keep in mind for neutral arches is: STABILITY. A good arch support, sound cushion, and stable heel support will always serve your feet well.

Whatever your foot type, there are still critical moments of truth that your athletic shoes need to prove that they are really the right pair for you (To be explained in an upcoming tip).  STAY TUNED!


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