Choosing the correct running shoes can be difficult as everyone’s foot is slightly different. Finding a shoe that is right for your foot shape and running technique may help reduce your chance of injury while you are out running.

Many runners experience overuse injuries such as tibial stress syndrome, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome. Previous injuries, changes in training surface or distance, foot type, biomechanics and the type of running shoes all play a part in these common running injuries.

Foot Types and Runners

Choosing correct running shoes Your foot type will largely determine the type of shoe that you should be running in. During normal running, 80% of runners strike the ground with their heel first. The weight is then transferrred from the outer/lateral part of the foot to the inner/medial part of the foot as the midfoot and then toes come into contact with the toe. This natural rolling is called pronation and it helps dissipate force evenly throughout the foot.

Runners that have a high arch or “supinate” during running are at greater risk of injury to the tibia such as stress fractures and pain on the outer hip knee or ankle. This is because the forces of running are not being absorbed adequately by the foot.

Runners with high arches need shoes that are extremely well cushioned, have only a small-medium amount of support around the heel, and sole that is curved in shape.


Runners that overpronate absorb greater amounts of force through foot. It can also lead to unwanted rotation of the shin and place runners at greater risk over anterior knee pain, shin splints, achilles tendonitis and metarsal stress fractures.

Runners that overpronate should go with a shoe that has motion control in order to decrease the amount of pronation. This may include a higher arch within the show and a firm mid sole. The sole of the shoe should be straight or only semi curved. And the heel counter should be  medium or long to control the motion of the heel and ankle joint. 

Top Tips for choosing your running shoes

Most important tip – Regular runners should replace shoes every 6-9 months, or after 600-900kms

1. Have someone assess your feet while you are walking and running to check whether you really do have normal, flat or high arches.

2. Buy shoes in the evening and wear the same socks as when you run for a proper fit

3. Allow 1cm at the front and top of the shoe

4. Heel should be snug and not rub the achilles

5. Don’t buy shoes that aren’t comfortable in store

6. Wear your running shoes for running only

7. Don’t run in wet shoes as it lowers the shock absorption

8. Don’t kick off your shoes as it damages the heel counter.

Good luck choosing your running shoes and Enjoy your running! 🙂 from the team at Active Lifestyle Physiotherapy.

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