The Right Foot Fit
In running, the rule “if the shoe fits, wear it” isn't quite that simple. Experts recommend the “wet feet” test to determine the right kind of shoe. Wet the bottom of your feet, stand on a dry piece of butcher paper (try a brown paper bag, too), and see which footprint your mark most closely resembles.
NormalThis biomechanically efficient foot allows for proper shock absorption when you hit the ground. Runners with these feet should look for a shoe with neutral cushioning and moderate arch support.
TRY: Asics Gel 3010, $120, Run For Your Life, 2422 Park Rd., 704-358-0713
Flat ArchesFlat arches typically lead to overpronation, meaning that the feet are rolling too far inward, putting strain on the feet, shins, and knees. Stability and motion control will help put your feet back in line, so be sure to look for shoes with dual-density midsoles or supportive “posts” in the arches.
TRY: Mizuno Wave Nirvana 5, $139.99, Dick's Sporting Goods, SouthPark, 704-972-9400
High ArchesThis kind of foot most likely means you're an underpronator or a supinator (feet are rolling too far outward). When the foot makes contact with the ground, the shock travels all the way up the leg, potentially leading to iliotibial (IT) band syndrome or Achilles tendonitis. Look for a lightweight shoe that allows for lots of motion.
TRY: Brooks Defyance 2, $100, Charlotte Running Company, 1412 East Blvd., 704-377-8786