A couple weeks ago when I went to the gym, I realized I’ve been wearing the same athletic shoes for over two years. I thought, I bet it’s time to go get some new shoes. I went to my local shoe store and was there forever staring at all of the different types of shoes and wondered, “What is the difference between running, tennis, walking, and cross-training shoes?” I was overwhelmed. After much research, asking a lot of questions, and visiting one of my favorite online stores, I finally got my answer! Here is what I found.
Before you go to the shoe store, it’s important to determine your foot type.
To determine what type of feet you have, there is a simple and easy test you can do at home. It’s called the “wet test.” This sounds kind of dirty, but I can promise you it’s not. All you have to do is to get your feet wet and stand on a hard surface like cement or on some dark construction paper so you can see the imprint of your feet. The type of imprint (no I’m taking about Twilight and Jacob) you have will determine your feet type.
Wet Test Results
When I did the test for myself I found out I’m an underpronator/supinator! Now what the heck does that mean? For me this means I have high arches.
Overpronator– flat or low arches and roll inward
Neutral– normal center pressure line with equal weight distribution
Underpronator/Supinator– high arches and roll outward
Once you know if you’re a overpronator, neutral, or an underpronator/supinator you can define what you need from an athletic shoe:
Overpronator– You need high-stability or motion-control sneakers to keep your feet aligned with your legs
Neutral– You need stability to moderate-stability shoes that offer a balance of cushioning and support.
Underpronator/Supinator– You need cushioning for good shock absorption.
So how do you go about finding shoes that have more cushioning/support, shock absorption, or high stability? Well, if you live close to a reputable running shoe store, you can go there. For me, getting out of the house with a crawling and teething nine month old can be far and few. I went to Zappos.com and put in the words “overpronator women athletic shoe” and found over 400 results! Talk about awesome! I picked out my favorites for each of the needs: