Weekend Runner – Shoe Selection Question

Captured at Brett Darrington on 15 Aug, 2022 by California photographer Cecily Breeding.

Dear Doctor Brett:
I am a weekend runner and I wonder how important shoe selection is?I purchase my shoes at a national sporting goods chain and only select the big name running shoes. Is there any real difference between in brands or models?

Dear Weekend Runner:
The first thing you should do is go to your nearest professional running shoe store. Preferably, one that specializes in running/walking/hiking shoes. Running shoes used to be pretty simple. Research and technology have greatly advanced the science of running shoe development. Generally running shoes come in three levels of support; “neutral” with no added mid foot control, “stability” with some added mid foot control, and “motion control” with significant added mid-foot control. Controlling the amount and speed of pronation (most simply, the collapse of the arch) is a key design criteria for shoe manufacturers. There are many other attributes of shoe design however this is the big one in running shoes. The levels can further be sub-divided, mild/medium/moderate added to neutral, stability and motion control. The brand of the shoe is not as important as matching it to your level of pronation, weight, and style of running. A good running store will watch you run in many different makes and models and help you choose the correct shoe. They should also size your foot. Remember, not even an elite runner can adequately select their own shoes as they cannot observe how their foot moves in the shoe. In the end, get sized, assessed and professional advice.

Good Luck!