|Neutral/ Cushion Shoes||Stability Shoes||Motion Control Shoes|
Determining Correct Shoe TypeThere are three basic categories of shoes: neutral/cushion, stability, and motion control. The main differences between the three types is the level of stabilization that they have. Stabilization refers to what extent a shoe prevents a foot from pronating (rolling in). In order to stabilize a shoe, certain parts of the shoe are reinforced. Pronation is generally when feet flatten and roll in because of flexible arches and or ankle mechanics. The opposite is supination, when a foot rolls to the outer edge. A foot that does neither is said to be neutral.
Cushion Shoes - This type of shoe has little or no pronation protection, or stabilization. It is for the foot that rolls to the outer, lateral edge or is neutral.
Stability Shoes – This type of shoe has a moderate amount of pronation protection, or stabilization. It is for the foot that rolls to the inner, medial edge to some degree.
Motion Control – This type of shoe has a large amount of pronation protection, it is heavily stabilized. It is for the foot that rolls to the inner, medial edge to a large degree.
Cushion Stability Motion Control - Stepping on tile or paper with a damp foot will leave a silhouette similar to one of the options above. Matching this to a shoe type will help to focus your choices.
A few things to know....
- Running and walking shoes are sized smaller and should fit larger than a street shoe. Accordingly, expect to increase your size up to a full size.
- In most cases the stability level of a shoe is determined by how much grey material is in the midsole of the shoe. Look below the arch, and the side of the sole. Cushion shoes will have no grey material, stability shoes some and motion control shoes will have much. Push your thumb into the material, and you will feel that it is denser than the white parts of the sole.
- Shoes trade stability for cushion and vice versa. Motion control shoes with be heavier and stiffer that their cushion shoe counterparts.
- Running and walking shoes, when used only for running and walking, should last at least 400 miles, some can last much longer. Around 400 miles, be attentive to dull knee or hip pain as these are the usual first symptoms of a broken down shoe.