Finding The Right Shoe For You
To help us make sure we have the perfect ride for our stride, we contacted the experts at Brooks for some advice on better understanding our feet and how best to keep them happy.
When it comes to selecting the best footwear for yourself, there are 3 key considerations:
- The fit
- Your biomechanics
- What activity you are using the shoes for
Feet come in all manner of different shapes and sizes - long, short, narrow, wide, deep, flat arch, high arch and so on. Getting the right fit for your foot is critical. Performance footwear brands recognize this and offer shoes in a range of widths. The right fit is about more than just width & length, the shoe should also match your arch type, as this is can be an indicator of your needs. High arches often require greater cushioning and flexibility, while low to flat arches tend to require more support and stability.
The term 'Biomechanics' refers to how our body moves. When it comes to selecting appropriate footwear, the primary biomechanical element to consider is called pronation. Pronation is a natural mechanism that our bodies utilise to disperse the shock incurred by the foot when walking or running.
- Neutral - The foot pronates at a natural, healthy rate and degree, rolling in toward the medial side, absorbing shock and dispersing impact forces. This foot requires a cushioned, flexible shoe with minimal support.
- Mild Overpronation - The foot pronates (rolls in to the medial side) faster and to a slight greater degree than desired. This foot will require a shoe with moderate support.
- Moderate Overpronation - The foot pronates (rolls in to the medial side) faster and to a greater degree than is healthy, causing some foot and ankle strain. This foot will require a stable shoe with a more active level of support.
- Severe Overpronation - The foot pronates faster and to a severe degree, causing moderate to extreme strain as the foot and ankle struggle to balance the body. This foot will require a highly stable shoe with aggressive support.
Other elements of biomechanics may also be relevant, such as impact points and gaits.
What will you use the shoe for and where? Running shoes may offer the best cushioning and support, but gym work or court-sports might require the grip and durability of a cross-trainer. Make sure your shoe fits you and your workout.
We recommend visiting a specialist footwear retailer who will properly assess your foot type and individual needs to help you find the right match for your feet.
For further information, or to find a retailer, visit www.brooksrunning.com.au.