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Dr. Kaz – Buying Shoes

Question: What should I look for in a new pair of running shoes?


A running shoe should provide the appropriate amount of cushioning and motion control for your foot. All good shoes share three basic qualities. First, they have a very firm heel counter. You can test this by grasping the heel counter in your hand and trying to compress the heel. If the heel counter is soft, it does not give enough support.

The second thing you should look at is where does the shoe bend. Good shoes will only bend where your foot bends, at the ball of the foot. If the shoe bends in half it does not give appropriate support.

The third item to be evaluated is the torsional stability of the shoe. Grasp the shoe firmly at the heel counter and toe box. If you can easily twist the shoe, it does not provide adequate support.

Now that you know what makes up a good shoe, you need to determine what type of foot you have. You can then choose an appropriate shoe. A simple way to determine your foot type is to look at the footprint left when exiting a shower, swimming pool or standing on the sand. Below are examples of the three basic types of feet.

A flat foot will do best in a motion control shoe. The normal arch does well with stability or motion control depending on your weight. If you are a little heavier, opt for a motion control shoe. The high arched foot need extra cushion and less stability.

Examples of these shoes are:

Cushion shoe

  • Adidas Supernova cushion
  • Brooks Dyad
  • Mizuno Wave Ride 10

Stability Shoe

  • Adidas Supernova Sequence or Conrol
  • Brooks Adrenaline GTS
  • Brooks Axium 3
  • Brooks Trance 8
  • New Balance 859/1224
  • Nike Air Structure X
  • Asics 2130 or Kyano

Motion Control

  • Brooks Beast (Ariel for women)
  • Asics Gel Evolution 4
  • Mizuno Wave Renegade 4
  • New Balance 992

When shopping for shoes remember a couple of things.

  1. Always shop at the end of the day when your feet are their largest.
  2. You should have a full thumbs distance from the tip of your longest toe to the end of the shoe.
  3. Wear your athletic socks when trying on the shoes.
  4. Try both shoes on and walk around the store. If possible, jog outside on the pavement.
  5. The shoe should feel comfortable from the beginning. You should not have to break it in.

Choosing the proper shoe can make running even more enjoyable. Always remember to increase your activity slowly. Most importantly, cool-looking shoes with fancy colors have been proven to help you run faster.

Happy trails

Dr. Kaz

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