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The Importance of the Right Pair of Athletic Shoes

Running shoes are the most vital piece of equipment that a runner owns. Since running doesn't require a large investment, and you don't really need any fancy gadgets or equipment to get started, it's easy to overlook the importance of good running shoes. Shoe stores sell a variety of sneakers, but not all of them are designed for running. Without proper athletic shoes, your running performance can suffer and you may end up with injuries.

Understanding the Foot

Before you buy the latest trend in athletic shoe, you need to understand your foot type. If you've never studied your footprint, it's time to look at the imprint your foot leaves on the ground. Get your foot wet and step on a dark, flat surface. If the imprint is wide and fat with virtually no arch showing, you have flat feet. If you notice that there is an arch but it seems to almost be on one side of your foot, you have a high arch. If your footprint shows a bit of flatness and a bit of arch, then you have a normal foot.

runner pegasus shoes nike The reason knowing your foot type is so important is because it helps determine the level of pronation you have when running or walking. Pronation is the natural rolling of the foot from heel to toe when it strikes the ground. Some people look at the amount of wear on their current shoes to determine pronation, but your foot shape is a good indicator of normal pronation. Those with normal feet usually have neutral or regular pronation, flat feet usually cause overpronation which is the foot rolling too far forward, and high arched feet usually cause underpronation or an incomplete rolling through from the heel to the toe.

Choosing the Right Shoe

Once you understand your foot type and pronation, you can choose the right shoe. If you have normally shaped feet you want a running shoe that offers stability. A stability shoe has all the necessary components of a good running shoe: proper padding, slightly curved shape, good ankle and shin support, and they don't cause the foot to go in a certain direction while running.

If you have overpronation, you may need a motion-controlled athletic shoe. These sneakers are straight and rigid, preventing the over rolling of the front of the foot. You will prevent injuries to your foot and increase your performance by wearing something that helps control your foot's natural tendency for overpronation.

Underpronation runners need extra support and slight motion control to help their feet follow through with pronation. Wearing cushioned running shoes will help absorb shock, as underpronation causes you to hit the ground harder, and will also help steer your foot inward to help prevent injuries from underpronation. Once you know which type of sneaker works best for your foot type, visit a professional running store to try on a few pairs. Choosing the right athletic shoe is imperative to avoid injury and reach optimal performance while running.

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