Get the best shoe for your foot type

Determining your foot type will ensure that you buy a shoe with fit characteristics that match your feet and your biomechanical needs.

You'll often find that the shoes in a given category are already appropriate for your foot type. The shoe companies know, for example, that many runners with motion-control problems have flat feet and should be running in straight-lasted shoes.

  • The normal foot lands on the outside of the heel, then rolls inward (pronates) slightly to absorb shock. Runners with a normal foot and normal weight are usually considered biomechanically efficient and don't require motion-control shoes.

      Best last: Semicurved

      Best shoes: Stability shoes with moderate control features such as a two-density midsole

  • The flat foot is usually an overpronated foot that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls inward (pronates) excessively. Over time, this can cause many different kinds of overuse injuries.

      Best last: Straight or semicurved

      Best shoes: Motion-control shoes, or stability shoes with firm midsoles and control features that reduce the degree of pronation. Stay away from highly cushioned, curved-lasted shoes that lack stability and control

  • The curved, high-arched foot is generally termed a supinated or underpronated foot (the terms are synonymous). This type of foot usually doesn't pronate enough, so it's not an effective shock absorber.

      Best last: Curved

      Best shoes: Cushioned shoes with plenty of flexibility to encourage foot motion. Stay away from motion-control or stability shoes, which reduce foot mobility.

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