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Footnotes / Blog

Which Running Shoes are Best for You?

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 Elizabeth Anthony

Runners know that a good shoe can prevent painful running induced ailments. However, a lack of knowledge about the gait cycle and benefits of certain shoes can leave many patients confused.


Shoes can typically be recommended to a patient base on their level of pronation, which is the way the foot rolls during the gait cycle to absorb shock.

  • Neutral
    • This running foot type hits the ground correctly during the gait cycle, and correctly absorbs shock. These runners can be more flexible with which shoe type they buy, and often don’t experience as many running related injuries.
  • Overpronation
    • Overpronators have an ankle that rolls inward during the gait cycle, causing an increase in pressure on the inside of the foot. These runners need shoes that will realign their foot with more material on the outside aspect of the heel.
  • Underpronation
    • Underpronators have heels that hit to ground on the outside part of the foot, and don’t properly roll through pronation to push off. These runners need shoes with more material on the inside aspect of the heel.

Maximalist versus Minimalist 

Runnings shoes can very from a traditional size shoe, to the newer minimalist and maximalist type shoes. Below is some information on these new types of shoes.

  • Maximalist shoes
    • Shoes with added bulk to absorb shock are becoming more common. These shoes claim to have…
      • A higher profile for protection
      • Higher sidewalls for stability
      • Low drop stance to promote a midfoot strike
      • Meta-rocker technology for an efficient toe-off
      • e.g.: Hoke One One

  • Minimalist shoes
    • These are defined as “any footwear that lacks high-cushioned heels, stiff soles and arch support.”
      • Encourage runners to hit the ground with less force on the heel
      • Possibly improved muscle function and flexibility of foot and leg muscles.
      • e.g.: Vibram Five-finger

The best running shoe for you depends on your foot type, your running goals, and your level of pronation. If you are interested in learning more about which running shoes we would individually recommend for you, make an appointment of one of our four Northern New Jersey offices. Dr. Kaufman, Dr. Rallatos, Dr. Visperas, Dr. Gonzales and Dr. Anthony are all licensed podiatrists who are up to date on the newest running shoe information.