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How to Find Your Sole-Mate
One of the biggest questions I get asked on Instagram is: What is your recommendation for running shoes?
My answer: It depends… on what feels the most comfy on your foot!
To which… lots of you probably roll your eyes and say, OKAY well what does that even mean??
Don’t fear! Here are 3 simple steps to finding your sole-mate:
Step 1: What are your goals?
Are you training for a marathon? Are you casually trail running? Or are you just looking for shoes to wear to the gym to do sprints on the treadmill? All of these goals will help you narrow down what type of shoe is most appropriate for you.
Step 2: Pick your Cushion Level
Some folks mistake more cushioning to always be better than shoes with low cushion. But that’s not always the case! I actually prefer a shoe with low cushioning and a smaller drop. Here’s some basic guidelines from RoadRunner Sports to help you choose your cushion level:
Level 5 —
Good for daily high mileage running and maximum impact protection
Ideal for new runners or runners with larger frames
Level 4 —
High level of cushion and performance
Great for daily long or short mileage
Level 3 —
A balance of lightweight, moderate cushion and flex.
Great for daily mileage, tempo and race running.
Your exact midpoint between cushion and quick natural feel
Ideal for expert runners or those looking for a tempo shoe
Level 2 —
Incredibly light, extremely flexible with just a touch of cushion and a minimal feel
Race, train, and feel connected to the road while strengthening feet and practicing form
Ideal for highly competitive racers
Level 1 —
Lightest, most flexible with only a thin layer of minimal protection
Strengthen feet while running, training or walking while feeling mostly barefoot
Step 3: Assess Your Arch Type & Flexibility
The height and flexibility of your arch determines how much support you will need.
Firstly, here’s a guide to pronation:
Pronation: how your foot rolls from heel to toe through the act of your foot striking the ground. A proper or neutral foot strike is when you strike initially with the outside of your heel and move upwards to the ball of your foot evenly.
Overpronation is when you roll too much to the inside of your foot. Folks with low or flat arches typically do this.
Underpronation is when your foot rolls too much to the outside. Folks with high arches are prone to this.
Second, here’s how it breaks down according to your arch type.
High Arches: If you have high arches that don't flex very much, you typically stay on the outsides of your feet (underpronate). RoadRunner Sports recommend selecting a NEUTRAL shoe to help guide your foot inward by supporting your arch with cushion.
Medium Arches: Medium arches generally are slightly flexible, which then causes your ankle to roll inward with each step (pronation). If you are having pains in your arches when running, consider a STABILITY shoe that will provide arch support.
Low Arches: Low arches mean highly flexible, which means that your feet will flex inwards a lot. Most recommend a very supportive shoe to help with that rolling in.
And that’s it!
Understand your goals, which way your foot rolls, and how much cushioning feels good for you!
As of right now, i’m using the Asics GT-2000™ 7 shoes because:
GOAL: I wanted a shoe that could withstand Ironman training
ARCH: I have low arches and tend to overpronate, so I needed a shoe with some amount of arch support
CUSHION: I prefer a shoe with mid to low cushioning, and this shoe provides mid cushioning
FIT: It has a wider toebox (yay for my wide feet)
FEEL: They aren’t heavy and feel both supportive and flexible on my feet
Ultimately, to find your perfect shoe, it might take some experimenting with what feels good.
I would recommend trying on several pairs and taking them out for a spin! Zappos has fast and free shipping, as well as a 365 Return Policy! That’s where I got these Asics from :)