Running is the best form of exercise for boosting your cardiovascular health, according to many experts.
Whether you go for a brisk run a couple of times a week or want to train for that first half marathon, no matter what your running capabilities are both runners new and experienced need to make sure that they are wearing the correct running shoes for their feet.
If you have flat feet or low arches, you may find that your feet over-pronate when you run. Pronation is the rolling motion of the foot when it comes into contact with and then lifts off the ground.
Over-pronation can see an unnatural roll of the foot, this places pressure on the inward part of the foot – causing foot pain in the arch of the foot. A common foot condition that can affect those with flat feet is Plantar Fasciitis.
This is where the arch of the foot becomes inflamed – causing a sharp pain when you run or place pressure on the foot. To combat Plantar Fasciitis, and other associative foot pains caused by low arches, it is best choosing running shoes that provide support to the arch of the foot along with stability.
This can be achieved through changing your running shoes or using insoles for flat feet.
Podiatrists also recommend that specialist Plantar Fasciitis shoes with targeted arch support should be worn even when you are not running to help realign the foot and heel to a natural position, and reduce excessive pronation.
If you have a high arch, it is likely that you will under-pronate when you run. Under-pronation sees feet roll outwards as you run.
As your feet won’t pronate as much as they should do, your feet aren’t as effective at absorbing shock – this can cause shock to impact the foot as well as the lower legs and knees.
When buying running shoes for feet with high arches, it is advisable to choose shoes that offer cushioning to ensure shock absorbing protection for the heel and the arch of the foot.
As well as specialist running shoes for high arched feet, insoles can also be placed in your everyday shoes to provide consistent support to the foot.
Unlike feet with high or low arches, neutral or ‘normal’ feet generally do not suffer from any foot pain caused by biomechanical flaws. However, it is worth taking into account that if you wear running shoes that contradict your foot type, you may experience foot pain.