by Liberty-Belle Howard in Start Running, image by Daniel Parks

How to Choose Running Shoes

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There is a lot more to buying running shoes than simply trying them on in the store. In order to get the trainers that will offer the best support and comfort during a run, you need to have a basic understanding of how biomechanics work.

In terms of running, biomechanics refers to the way in which your feet land on the ground as you move. Without taking biomechanics into account, you could end up feeling sore, fatigued and frustrated during or immediately following your runs. In turn, you may give up on running altogether. A few of the basics of using biomechanics to choose the right running shoes are highlighted below.

Understanding Pronation

Pronation refers to the rolling motion that your foot makes before it becomes flat with the ground. As your foot lands on the ground, it generally lands on the outside portion of the heel. The accompanying rolling motion or pronation can have a dramatic effect on how successful a run is. The right trainers can correct pronation problems and make running a more fulfilling and effective experience for you.


With overpronation, your foot rolls too far when you are running. A good way to check for this is by examining an old pair of running shoes. Position one old shoe on a flat surface and look at it from behind its heel. If it leans slightly inward, you suffer from pronation.

Correcting Overpronation

In order to mitigate the effects of pronation, you should buy running shoes that offer superior support. Motion-control running shoes are also useful in this situation.


Underpronation refers to feet that do not roll forward enough while running. Using the same test as above, you may notice that the shoe leans lightly outward. This strongly suggests that you suffer from underpronation.

Correcting Underpronation

There are running shoes available that address the issue of underpronation. They are cushioned in order to make up for the incorrect way in which your feet roll when you are running. You are sure to be amazed at the difference that cushioned running shoes make when it comes to your comfort and stamina during a run.

Keep Arches in Mind Too

After conducting the above steps, you should also get a feel for the types of arches that your feet have. The easiest way to determine that is by leaving a wet footprint on a tile surface. Flat feet or feet that don’t have high arches will leave prints that have very thick “bands” between the forefoot and the heel. Flat feet generally cause overpronation.

In the case of a regular arch, in which a band that is about half the width of the foot runs between the heel and the forefoot, no serious pronation problems are likely to exist. Neutral running shoes work well in these situations.

If no band exists between the heel and the forefoot, or if it is exceedingly narrow, you have high arches. High arches can cause underpronation.

By keeping the preceding points in mind, you should be able to find trainers that enhance your running experience by giving you the correct type of support and making you less likely to suffer from minor injuries.


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