Running is a very simple activity; put one foot in front of the other, and just go! Choosing the right running shoe, however, can be an overwhelming task, given all the options available and all the special features of each running shoe. Your choice can make the difference between a good or bad experience, running in comfort or pain, and, most importantly, whether you stay healthy or get injured.
When you choose Fleet Feet Sports, our staff will focus on your specific footwear needs and work tirelessly to help you find a properly fitting shoe. All of our FIT professionals are trained to determine your foot type, evaluate your needs, and recommend appropriate footwear. During your fitting, we may discuss your level of pronation, as well as the shape of your foot, and how it all relates to your footwear options.
Pronation refers to the inward rolling of the foot from initial heel strike to toe off. Pronation is a natural and necessary adaptation response; it is how your foot acts to reduce the stress of impact. An underpronated foot is typically rigid and does not roll inward sufficiently to absorb shock. Inversely, a foot that overpronates rolls inward too far and/or too quickly.
Every footwear manufacturer designs shoes for a variety of foot types and biomechanical needs.
Neutral or Cushioned running shoes encourage natural foot motion, and are most often preferred by efficient runners. This type of shoe offers no additional medial support, such as a post or bridge.
Stability shoes offer a good blend of cushioning, medial support, and durability. Stability features in this type of shoe may range widely from light, guidance footwear to those offering maximum stability.
Trail running shoes are designed to handle your most rugged off-road runs. Aggressive outsoles provide greater traction and underfoot protection than your road shoe.
Minimalist or Performance Footwear. The advent of the barefoot, or minimalist, running trend presents multiple footwear options. Designed to mimic the foot's contours, minimalist running shoes are extremely light and flexible. A minimalist shoe allows the foot to function as nature intended and, with time and patience, can help you train to run more efficiently. This type of shoe is best used as a training tool for occasional runs, speed work, and race day.
At the end of the day, your ideal shoe is one that fits both the shape of your foot and your running style. At Fleet Feet Sports, it's always about fit and function.