Your Arch Type Points You To The Right Style Of Shoe
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How do I know what type of foot I have, and what type of shoe I need?
Most manufacturers base their running shoe designs on three categories based on the arch of the foot: low arch, average arch, and high arch.
- Low arch: If you have fleet feet and low arches, you need a more stable shoe to guide your foot's motion, so look for “stability shoes.”
- High arch: If you have a high arch, you want a neutral shoe to keep your feet aligned and plenty of cushioning to absorb the shock of your footfalls. Look for “cushioned” shoes.
- Average arch: If you have an average arch, you need a shoe with some stability, but not too much, you can wear almost any shoe, and your best bet will depend on whether your average arch falls on the high or low side of average. If you're on the high side of average, try cushioned shoes first. A stability shoe might not flex enough, and it could cause you to develop plantar fasciitis (more about that in the injury section).
If you're not sure what type of arch you have, put a piece of paper on the bathroom floor and check out the shape of your wet foot when you get out of the shower. If you see a very narrow mark between your toes and heels, you have a high arch. If you see a large, flat patch, you have low arches.