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Choosing the right shoes for your workout

Picking yourself up a pair of new shoes for exercise can really make a difference. They can make your workout more enjoyable, and more importantly, more effective. Make sure that you select shoes specific to the type of exercise you do, and ones that properly fit you. I recently read about a quick and easy way to determine if your foot type is high arch, normal arch, or flat arch. Simply wet your foot and step on a paper bag. See the guide below from to determine which type you are and use this to guide your search. Go to a specialty show store or search online for the shoes that will give you the most benefit. With all the online tools and review sites we have access to these days, you can be sure to make an informed decision and prevent blisters from your new purchase. Choosing the right fit can provide the comfort and benefits you need to make your exercise time much more pleasant, making it easier to push that extra mile or take it to the next level!

Normal (medium) Arch If you see about half of your arch, you have the most common foot type and are considered a normal pronator. Contrary to popular belief, pronation is a good thing. When the arch collapses inward, this “pronation” absorbs shock. As a normal pronator, you can wear just about any shoe, but may be best suited to a stability shoe that provides moderate arch support (or medial stability). Lightweight runners with normal arches may prefer neutral-cushioned shoes without any added support, or even a performance-training shoe that offers some support but less heft, for a faster feel.

Flat (low) Arch If you see almost your entire footprint, you have a flat foot, which means you’re probably an overpronator. That is, a micro-second after footstrike, your arch collapses inward too much, resulting in excessive foot motion and increasing your risk of injuries. You need either stability shoes, which employ devices such as dual-density midsoles and supportive “posts” to reduce pronation and are best for mild to moderate overpronators, or motion-control shoes, which have firmer support devices and are best for severe overpronators, as well as tall, heavy (over 165 pounds), or bow-legged runners.

High Arch If you see just your heel, the ball of your foot, and a thin line on the outside of your foot, you have a high arch, the least common foot type. This means you’re likely an underpronator, or supinator, which can result in too much shock traveling up your legs, since your arch doesn’t collapse enough to absorb it. Underpronators are best suited to neutral-cushioned shoes because they need a softer midsole to encourage pronation. It’s vital that an underpronator’s shoes have no added stability devices to reduce or control pronation, the way a stability or motion-control shoe would.

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